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Copyright 1906, by The Cki nc C 

T T 

indsome jj 


QOCS If you want a velvet skin, don't PUT ON 

preparations, but TAKE OFF the dead skin, and let the 
new perfect cuticle furnish its own beauty. 

Those who use HAND SAPOLIO need no cosmetics 
Nature, relieved^ does its own work, and you will 
gain, or retain, a natural' beauty that no balms or 
powders can imitate. 

HAND SAPOLIO removes dead cuticle and gives 
the skin a velvet quality. In the bath it is a 
marvelous exhilarator, making every nerve and 
muscle and vein respond. 


Is the Soap with "Life" in it. 


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The Critic 

An Illustrated Monthly Review of Literature, Art, and Life 


The Right Hon. John Morley Frontispiece 

The Lounger 

The President's commendation of Mr. Madison J. 

Cawein's new volume of verse 105 

A new edition of Miss Agnes Repplier's " In Our Con- 
vent Days" 106 

The present vogue of biographies and kindred litera- 
ture 106 

The Rev. Percy Grant's poems 106 

Miss Elisabeth Luther Cary to publish her "Studies" 

of George Meredith's novels 106 

" Fen 'ick's Career " . 106 

Mrs. Carter Harrison, wife of the ex-mayor and author 

of " The Moon Princess " 106 

'■ The Island of Tranquil Delights ' ' in its third edition. 106 
A platform partnership between Mr. Jerome K. Jerome 

and Mr. Charles Battell Loomis. (Portrait) . . 106 
Authors who have their press agents . . . .106 

Mrs. Florence Scovel Shinn to illustrate Mr. Churchill's 

coming novel . 107 

A new volume of verse by the late Laurence Hope. 

(Portrait) ... 108 

The emotional enthusiasm of Laurence Hope . . 109 
Mr. Vaughan Kester, author of "The Fortunes of the 
Landors," brother of the dramatist Paul Kester, of 
A rgill Castle, England. (Illustrated) . .110 

Mr. Paul Kester bought his castle without seeing it . 11 1 
John Luther Long, the creator of " Madame Butterfly." 

(Portrait) in 

The cynicism of Lord Beaconsfield 111 

Mr. E. Gordon Craig on "The Art of the Theatre." 

(Illustrated) .111 

The twentieth anniversary of the founding of the 

National College of Music 11 1 

An American author and an English publisher .111 

Charles Wagner a continued influence. (Portrait) . 112 
The manuscript .of William Watson's "Columbus" 
given to the Congressional Library. (Illustrated) 

Mr. St. Leo Strachey and artistic homes for the English 


The literary offspring of Sidney Lanier .... 
Mr. Edwin- Mims's biography of Sidney Lanier 
New material in Herbert Paul's "Life of Froude" 
Mrs. Elizabeth W. Champney, the author of " The Ro- 
mance of the French Abbeys " (Portrait) 
Many writers are buying farms in Connecticut 
Miss Helen M. Winslow's home at Shirley, Mass. 


The jest in " The Commercialization of Literature" by 

Mr. Henry Holt 

Messrs. Brentano's uniform edition of the writings of 

Prosper Merimee . . 

Dr. C. B. Schilling a " Peeping Tom " to the lions 
Strange titles to modern books 101 





Mrs. Craigie's new novel has a nonconformist hero 
Mr. John Morgan Richards's description of his gifted 






laughter. (Illustrated) 
The recent death of Henry Harland at San Remo Italv. 

(Portrait) ... 

Some epigrams of John Oliver Hobbes 

Mr. Sidney Lee's introduction to Miss Mary MacLeod's 

Shakespeare story-book. (Portrait) .... 
The dramatization of " The Clansman ' ' by Mr. Thomas 

Dixon, Jr 

An anecdote of fifty years of failure 104 

"Fifty Years of Failure" suggests the title of "The 

Success of Defeat " . 104 

The last novel series to supplement the first novel 

series 104 

Mr. W. W. Story, sculptor and poet, has come to New 

York 104 

The first volume of the memoirs of Sir Wemyss Reid . 105 

Mrs. Margaret Deland's new novel 105 

The continued success of Mr. Wilton Lackaye as " Sven- 

gali" in " Trilby." (Portrait) 105 

Three Generations of Romances 

The Making of Books 

Out=of=Doors from Labrador to Africa 

The Beginnings of James McNeill Whistler — Illus 


THE CRITIC'S Gallery of American Art. No. XII 

Edmund S. Tarbell— Illustrated . 
A Portrait of Coleridge by Washington AHston— 


The Young Pretender— Illustrated 

The Great Commonplaces of Reading 

Oriental Definitions: Yogi— Illustrations by C. de 


A Concord Note=Book: The Women of Concord — I 

Sixth Paper ....... 

The Venality of Talleyrand .... 

Journalism the Destroyer of Literature 
Women and the Unpleasant Novel 

By the Hill of Dan— Poem 

What we Read to Children 

To the Lamp= Bearers 

Two Books of Song 

The Editor's Clearinghouse : 

On the Decay of Honor . ... 

What He Craved 

Irving.— Poem 

The Book=Buyer's Guide 

Books Received 

Anne Warner 
Francis Grierson 
Dallas Lore Sharp . 

A. J. Bloor . 

H. ST.-G. 

Annie Nathan Meyer 
J. Sanford Saltus 
John Morley 

Maguerite Merington 

F. B. Sanborn 
Joseph McCabe . 
Julian Hawthorne 
Geraldine Bonner 
Clinton Scollard 
Adele Marie Shaw 
Eden Phillpotts 
Edith M. Thomas 

Philip Becker Goetz 
Charlotte Perkins Gilman 
O. C. Auringer . 










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Lord Randolph Churchill 

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forum of general discussion it has never had a peer, and its total body of casual correspondence surpas-esany 
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The Literary Biography of the Season 

The Life of Charles Lamb 


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Mr. Lucas has succeeded in this biography 
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gether autobiographical passages from Lamb's 
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other writers, such as Hazlitt, Talfourd, Procter, 
Wainewright, DeQuincey, Coleridge, Words- 
worth, and others, in such a way as to show in 
every light the most fascinating and the most 
lovable fiVure in English Literature. He has 


(Reduced from Photogravure) ^^ ^ gQod f ortunej as a resu l t Q f painstaking 

researches, to secure much new information and material and an im- 
portant group of new Lamb letters. 

"The first really complete and adequate life of that singularly delightful writer 
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of Books 


Professor of English in Dartmouth 

College ; author of "A 

History of American 

Literature,'' etc. 

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its first appearance in 1881, the 
book has circulated very widely 
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More than 100,000 copies have 
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net $3-50. (By mail, $3-75-) 

French Classics for English Readers. 

Edited by Adolph Cohn and Curtis Hidden 

1 — Rabelais. 8°. Net $2.00. 

HERRICK. The Home Life of Wild Birds. 

A new method of the Study and Photography 
of Birds. By Francis Hobart Herrick. 
New edition. 8°, 145 original illustrations, 
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HUTTON. Talks in a Library 

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LEECH. Pictures of Life and Character. 

212 illustrations by John Leech. 
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LIBBEY. The Jordan Valley and Petra. 

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MACQUOID. A History of English Furniture 

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last of the Georges. By Percy Macquoid. 
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Volume I — The Age of Oak. 

MARVIN. The Companionship of Books and 
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MAULDE. The Women of Renaissance. 

A Study in Feminism. By R. de Maulde la 

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MORE. Shelburne Essays. 

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net. (By mail, $1.35.) 

NITOBE. Bushido. 

The Soul of Japan. By Inazo Xitobe. With 
an introduction by William Elliot Griffis. 10th 
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NOUSSANNE. The Kaisar as He Is, 

Or, The Real William II. 

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ter Littlefield. 8°, net $1.25. (By mail, $1.35.) 

REYNOLDS. Classified Quotations. 

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a box, net $2.50. 

RICHARDSON. The Choice of Books. 

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ROBINSON. Modern Civic Art. 

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STEPHEN. The Essays of Leslie Stephen, 
Literary and Critical. 

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1 — Free Thinking and Plain Speaking. 
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Paul. 8°, net $1.50. 

2 — Hours in a Library. 
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TROW. Old Shipmasters of Salem. 

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Upton Letters, The. 

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WACK. The Romance of Victor Hugo and 
Juliette Drouet. 

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Francois Coppee. 

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The Story of the Congo Free State. 

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WILDE. De Profundis. 

By Oscar Wilde. 

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(Economics, Politics, Sociology etc. 

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GRINNELL. Social Theories and Social 

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HOBHOUSE. Democracy and Reaction. 

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JOHNSTON. American Political History, 

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LOW. The Governance of England. 

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MARSHALL. The Constitutional Decisions 
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WILDMAN. Money Inflation in the U. S. 

A Study in Social Pathology. 

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HUTCHINSON. Two Moods of a Man. 
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JACOBS. Celtic Fairy Tales. 
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MERRIMAN. A Self-Made Man's Wife. 

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POOR. Under Guiding Stars. 

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STRANG. Adventures of Harry Rochester. 

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STURGIS. Belchamber. 

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Ijistorg arib HHogragljg 

ALDIS. Madame Geoffrin and Her Salon, 

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BARINE. Louis XIV. and La Grande Made- 

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BIELSCHOWSKY. The Life of Goethe. 

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BURKE. A Genealogical and Heraldic Dic- 
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CHANCELLOR. The United States, 1607- 

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volume. Sold separately. 

Part II.— Colonial Union, 1698-1774. 
8°. Illustrated, net $3.50. 

DIX. History of the Parish of Trinity Church. 

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Part III. — To the Close of the Rectorship 
of Dr. Hobart. 

HANOTAUX. Contemporary France. 

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Heroes of the Nations. 

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39 — Constantine the Great. The Reorgan 
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40 — Mohammed. The Rise of Islam. 
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Heroes of the Reformation. 

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By Henry Cowan. 
8 — Balthasar Hubmaier. The Leader of 

the Anabaptists. 

By Henry C. Vedder. 

HUME. The Abolitionists. 

Together with Personal Memoirs of the Strug- 
gle for Human Rights, 1830- 1864. 
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LAMB. Works and Letters of Charles and 
Mary Lamb. 

Edited by E. V. Lucas. 
7 vols. 8°. Illustrated, each, net $2.25. 
Vols. VI. and VII. The Letters. 

{Completing the set.) ' 

LOWERY. The Spanish Settlements Within 
the Present Limits of the U. S. 

Florida, 1562-1574. 

By Woodbury Lowerv. 

8°, with maps, 

LUCAS. The Life of Charles Lamb. 

By E. V. Lucas. 

2 vols. 8°, 50 illustrations, net $6.00. 

MITTON. Jane Austen and Her Times, 

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Edited by C. W. C. Oman. 
6 vols. 8°. Each, net $3.00. 

4 — England under the Tudors. 

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5 — England under the Stuarts. 
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TALLENTYRE. The Life of Voltaire. 

By S. G. Tallentyre. Xczc and cheaper edition. 
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WHEELER. Daniel Webster. 

The Expounder of the Constitution. 
By Everett P. Wheeler. 

8°, with portrait, net $1.50. 

WOOD. A History of the American Civil War. 

By W. Birkbeck Wood and Major J. E. Edmonds. 
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8°, with maps and plans, net $3.50. 


BRACKETT. The Treasure Book of Verse. 

A Re-issue of "Poetry for Home and School." 
Chosen and arranged bv Anna C. Brackett and 
Ida M. Elliot. 
16 , with 64 illustrations, $1.50. 

CHITTENDEN. Ranch Verses. 

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8°, net $1.25. 

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LLOYD. The Corrected English New Testa- 

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GREEN. What to Have for Breakfast. 

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THE term "pagan " literally means villager, rustic \ 
or barbarian, and as used by Christians means an 
idolatrous or godless man — a heathen: A 
heathen means a heather-man, bushman or sav- 
age ! Now consider the absurdity of applying this 
term pagan to the old Greek Philosophers, Socrates, 
Plato, and Aristotle, three of the greatest minds in the 
history of religion, ethics, and philosophy. These men 
were not rustics or barbarians and not godless, but emi- 
nently " godly," and represented the highest urban 
culture. In their works will be found the most ex- 
alted conceptions of God, the Soul, and a life of virtue. 
In the words of Socrates, 500 years before the New 
Testament was written, will be found a clearer statement 
of the doctrine of the immortal soul and its future 
states of probation, reward, and punishment than can 
be found in any part of the Bible. And in Plato's 
Dialogues will be found a perfect statement of the 
Golden Rule, 400 B. C., and also a full statement of 
the modern utilitarian theory of ethics in terms identi- 
cal with that given by our greatest modern evolutionist, 
Plerbert Spencer. To get a true idea of "pagan" 
teachings and correct popular misconceptions, read Vol. 
I of Evolution of Ethics by The Brooklyn Ethical 
Association, entitled The Ethics of the Greek Philoso- 
phers, by Prof. Jas. H. Hyslop, 333 pages, 21 illus- 
trations, including many portraits of the philosophers, 
and a Life of Socrates. 

Price, $2.00 at all Booksellers. 

CHAS M. HIGGINS & CO., Publishers, 

Main Office: 271 Ninth Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. 


When writing to Advertisers please mention THE CRITIC 

Photo by Elliott A: Fry 

(See page 144) 





No. 2 


o \i n g e i° 

Mr. St. Loe Strachey, editor of 
the London Spectator, has interested 
himself in artistic homes for the English 
poor. Not only artistic but inexpen- 
sive. They cost as little as $750.00 and 
have conveniences that the average 
English laborer's cottage usually lacks. 
It would be a good thing if some of 
our wealthy manufacturers took a hint 
from "The Book of Cheap Cottages" 
in building for their employees. Any- 
thing more hideous than the usual 
American laborer's cottage could 
hardly be imagined. It is simply an 
unattractive box. One thing is to be 
noticed among English laborers, or per- 
haps I should say English laborers' 
wives, — and that is their love of flow- 
ers. The humblest cottage in England 
is ornamented with vines, and the hum- 
blest garden gay with flowers. The 
dearth of flower gardens in this country 
— that is, among the poor, or even the 
well-to-do, is one of the first things to 
strike a foreigner. You can travel for 
miles through the New England farm 
countries, for example, and it is very 
rarely that you see a flower garden. 
There may be shrubs or trees but few 

When Sidney Lanier died he left a 

widow and three or four sons. He 
died poor, as he had lived poor, but his 
widow by heroic efforts educated her 
young family, and they are now, all 
who are old enough, successful business 
men. Charles D. is the president, of 
the Review of Reviews Company, 
Henry W. is a partner of Doubleday, 
Page, & Company, and the editor of 
Country Life in America, while a 
younger brother is with the Review of 

Speaking of Mr. Lanier reminds me 
that for the first time there is an ade- 
quate life of his father, the late Sidney 
Lanier, the poet. This life tells the 
story of the struggle of Lanier for recog- 
nition. Though he has a much wider 
circle of admirers to-day than he had at 
any time during his life, he is still "ca- 
viare to the general." During her life- 
time, Charlotte Cushman did more than 
any one else to attract the attention of 
the public to Lanier. Since his death 
he has been written about a great deal, 
but I doubt if outside of a cultivated 
few his name, much less his work, is 
known. His biographer, Mr. Edwin 
Mims, thinks it is still too soon to give 
Lanier his proper place among Ameri- 
can or English poets. 

Copyright 1906, by The Critic Company. 
Entered at New Rochelle, N. Y., Post Office as Second Class Matter. 



The Critic 

One of the most important biogra- 
phies of the season is the "Life of 
James Anthony Froude," by Herbert 
Paul, of which Messrs. Scribner are the 
publishers. A large amount of new 
and interesting material in regard to 
Froude's life and career has been 
brought together, and this fact, to- 
gether with Mr. Paul's gifts as a writer, 

From a pastel by J. Wells Champney 

should not only make an interesting 
but an entertaining biography. Mr. 
Paul has been assisted in the prepara- 
tion of the book by Miss Froude and 
Mr. Ashley Froude, the historian's 
only son. I understand that there will 
be no allusion to the unpleasant fea- 
tures of the Carlyle controversy, for 
which we cannot be too grateful. 

Mrs. Elizabeth W. Champney, a re- 
production of whose portrait by her 
lamented husband is given herewith, 
has achieved a pleasant reputation as 
the author of "Romance of the French 
Abbeys." Mrs. Champney during the 
lifetime of her husband spent most of 
her summers in France, where she col- 
lected material for her books. 

It is interesting to note the 
number of writers who are buy- 
ing farms in Connecticut. Up 
around New Hartford, which 
is in the northern part of the 
State, several well-known writ- 
ers have bought abandoned 
farms, and also in Fairfield 
County, which is nearer New 
York. Mr. Albert Bigelow 
Paine has bought an old house, 
a brook, and some thirty acres 
in the township of Redding, 
while within the last week or 
two Miss Ida M. Tarbell, who 
has made herself famous by her 
"History of the Standard Oil 
Company" and her attacks up- 
on Mr. John D. Rockefeller, 
has bought a beautiful old farm 
in the same township. There 
was a time when the writing 
fraternity hovered around the 
confines of Grub Street, but 
now it is breaking away from the 
city and buying farms among 
the hills of New England. The 
pioneer in this direction was 
Miss Kate Sanborn, who wrote 
a most interesting book about 
her experiences as an aban- 
doned farmer. 

Among the women writers 
who have bought farms in 
New England is Miss Helen M. 
Winslow, who nearly four years ago 
bought the De Horte mansion at 
Shirley, Mass. Miss Winslow finds 
that she can do a great deal more 
work, and better work, in the quiet of 
the country. A recent story, ' ' Spinster 
Farm," is founded on some of her own 

The Lounger 


The most lively contribution to our 
magazine pages is "The Commercial- 
ization of Literature" by Mr. Henry 
Holt, the well-known publisher, which 
was published in the Atlantic Monthly. 
Mr. Holt answers categorically a re- 
cently published volume of "Publish- 

Schillings's remarkable book, "Flash- 
lights in the Jungle," is published by 
Messrs. Doubleday, Page, & Co. The 
photographs in this book, numbering 
320, were secured by Dr. Schillings in 
the heart of Africa. They show for 
the first time the wild beast in his na- 

^^"~--i— - — r~j 

— -nni 

|c£^ --^^^Slf fi| 


The Residence of Miss Helen M. Winslow 

er's Confessions," and says many true 
and many amusing things. While the 
article will be particularly enjoyed by 
publishers and authors, it still furnishes 
much interesting reading for the general 
public. Mr. Holt's vigorous person- 
ality stands out in every line of this 
article. It would be most interesting to 
hear an author's confessions — particu- 
larly one of the several authors at whom 
Mr. Holt's shafts of sarcasm are aimed. 

Messrs. Brentano make the interest- 
ing announcement of a complete and 
uniform edition, the first time in Eng- 
lish, of the writings of Prosper Meri- 
mee, translated from the French by 
Mr. George Saintsbury, Professor of 
English Literature in the University of 
Edinburgh. This shows not only en- 
terprise but excellent taste on the part 
of Messrs. Bretano. 

The authorized edition of Dr. C. B. 

tive haunts. Dr. Schillings played 
"Peeping Tom" to the lions, tigers, 
zebras, hyenas, giraffes, and other na- 
tive animals, and snapped his camera 
and flashed his flashlight on them while 
they were off their guard. Messrs. 
Doubleday, Page, & Co. paid many 
thousand dollars for the original pho- 
tographs and for the rights to publish 
the book in this country. As the book 
was not originally copyrighted here 
they have only the " courtesies of the 
trade" to protect them. It was of the 
author of this book that President 
Roosevelt said: "The man who wrote 
that book shares the true spirit of a 
sportsman, and is just what I want a 
sportsman and hunter to be." 

There seems to be an effort nowa- 
days among authors to get strange 
titles for their books. Sometime ago 
Mr. Ridgely Torrence published a little 
book called "The House of a Hundred 

Photo by 

F. Hollyer, London 


The Lounger 


Lights." Now Mr. Meredith Nichol- 
son goes him several better with a new 
novel called "The House of a Thou- 
sand Candles. " By the side of a thou- 
sand candles a hundred lights would 
make little showing in the dark. Now 
let us have "The House of Five 
Thousand Electric Lights." 

Mrs. Craigie (John Oliver Hobbes) 
has recently finished a new novel in 
which a nonconformist is the hero. 
The hero is in strong contrast to the 
character of Robert Orange, the Roman 
Catholic, about whom there has been 
so much discussion. Mrs. Craigie is 
herself a Roman Catholic, but her 
father, Mr. John Morgan Richards, is 
not only a Protestant but he is a 
nonconformist, and was a leading 
light in the Dr. Parker's City Temple. 
Arrangements have just been made, by 
the way, for the publication of Mr. 
Richards's book— " With John Bull and 
Jonathan" — by Messrs. Appleton. Mr. 
Richards has just returned to England. 
His book, the story of his experiences 
rather than a novel, contains a frontis- 
piece portrait of himself, with pictures 
of Mrs. Craigie at various ages. 


In this Mr. Richards gives this in- 
teresting picture of his gifted daughter, 
in her childhood : 

The dramatic instinct was so strong that she en- 
treated me to buy a toy theatre for her, with paste- 
board figures representing the characters ; and she 
would invent the story to fit the drama, making 
little speeches for each character as she pushed 
them onto the stage. This love of the theatre, I 
should confess, she may have inherited from me. 

A governess at the school she attended told my 
wife in great alarm that Pearl was in the habit of 
sitting on a table, with the girls around her crying 
with laughter at her imitations of the men and 
women she had met in the street. 


The recent death of Henry Harland, 
at San Remo, Italy, recalls many 
memories. Mr. Harland was a protege 
of Edmund Clarence Stedman, and it 
was through Mr. Stedman that his first 
book, "As It Is Written," was pub- 
lished. I was literary adviser of the 

American branch of Cassell & Company 
at the time, and the manuscript was 
given me to read without any mention 
of Mr. Stedman 's name or that of the 
author. It was signed with the pen- 
name ' ' Sidney Luska. ' ' It was written 
in the author's hand, not typewritten, 
but it was as easy to read as print. 
Not being a very long story, I read 
it in an evening and strongly advised 
its publication. It was published, and 
with success. After that the same 
firm published other of Mr. Harland's 
Jewish stories, for, curiously enough, 
his first three books dealt with Jewish 
life in New York, and so cleverly 
that no one thought for a moment 
that the author was not a Hebrew. 
After Mr. Harland went to England 
and got in with the set that made the 
"Yellow Book" possible, his style 
changed, and in 
some respects for the 
better; though "The 
Cardinal's Snuff- 
Bo x , " which he 
wrote two years ago, 
was the best thing 
that he ever did, 




From " With John Bull and Jonathan " 

and gave him a place among contem- 
porary writers that nothing that he had 
written before could possibly have 
done, clever as those early books were. 


The Critic 

It seems to be the fashion to write in 
epigrams nowadays. Some time ago 
John Oliver Hobbes was the only per- 
son who made a specialty of the epi- 
gram, but now they all do it. Some 
of the most amusing are to be found in 
"The Secret Kingdom," by Frank 
Richardson : 

No woman ever discovers that she was married at 
sixteen until she is well advanced in her decadence. 

When all is said and done, a woman is as young 
as a man can make her feel. 

Fashion is never funny. It may be beautiful, or 
it may be ugly ; but it is always serious. 

In a man optimism is the result of love, pessi- 
mism the result of liver. 

Mr. Richardson has the usual Eng- 
lish idea of the American girl, which is 
that she is the daughter of a self-made, 
and not very well-made father; that 
her name is "Mame"; that she chews 
gum, and talks in a slang that was 
never heard on land or sea. 




Photo by Russell & Son 

Author of " A Life of William Shakespeare," &c. 

Miss Mary MacLeod is fortunate in 
having her Shakespeare story-book in- 
troduced by so distinguished a Shake- 

spearian student as Mr. Sidney Lee. 
That Mr. Lee recommends this book 
is sufficient to insure its success if that 
success were not assured by its own 

The dramatization of his novel, "The 
Clansman," by Mr. Thomas Dixon, 
Jr., has proved so successful in the 
South that it is to be produced at the 
Liberty Theatre in this city early in 
the present month. Of all the novels 
that Mr. Dixon has written, "The 
Clansman " is the one that lends itself 
the best to dramatization. 

In a volume of recollections with the 
striking name "Fifty Years of Failure " 
there is an interesting anecdote: 

A painter friend and I went into the club one 
day, and found a member thereof sitting on the 
table in the morning room. There was an air of 
mystery about the whole proceedings. To this 
member entered James McNeill Whistler ; the 
member got off the table, and expressed his inten- 
tion of giving Whistler a thrashing. Then the row 
began. Whistler was not a big man, but it ended in 
his opponent going down the stairs very much more 
quickly than he would have done by his own volition. 


The title, "Fifty Years of Failure," 
suggests that of the late Rev. Mortley 
D. Babcock's little book, "The Success 
of Defeat." Both of these books, 
while they chronicle failure, are opti- 
mistic in their outlook. 

An enterprising London publisher, 
who inaugurated the successful First 
Novel Series, has now supplemented 
his scheme by a Last Novel Series. I 
would suggest that some American 
publisher take up this idea, and I could 
also suggest to him the names of several 
authors still writing whom I would like 
to see in the series. 

Mr. W. W. Story, the American 
sculptor and poet, has come to Amer- 
ica, and will take a studio in New York, 
intending to divide his tjme hereafter 
between that city and Rome, where he 
has for so many years made his home. 

The Lounger 


Some years ago Mr. Story published a 
most delightful volume of recollections. 
He has lived such a full life, however, 
since then that he could easily write 
another volume of equal interest. Mr. 
Story's most famous contribution to 
literature is his poem, "Cleopatra," 
which has been recited as often as 
Longfellow's "Building of the Ship." 

The first volume of the much-talked- 
of "Memoirs" of Sir Wemyss Reid is 
published by Cassell & Co. When the 
second volume will be published no 
one knows. Sir Wemyss Reid was a 
journalist and a man of affairs, a mem- 
ber of many clubs, and a man with a 
large circle of friends, including Glad- 
stone in politics and every one in litera- 
ture. The first volume extends from 
1842 to 1885, and in it he records his 
impressions of men and events up to 
the latter year. The second volume 
carries the "Memoirs" down to within 
a few weeks of Sir Wemyss Reid's 
death, and is withheld because it con- 
tains political revelations which cannot 
yet be published. There is a good deal 
about Lord Roseberry in this second 
volume, and it is said that his lordship 
is quite willing to have it published; 
but the author's literary executors 
doubt the advisability, notwithstanding 
Lord Roseberry's assurance, and no one 
knows when it will be published. 

Mrs. Margaret Deland, who has not 
written a novel for several years, has 
just finished one which has successfully 
begun its serial publication in Harper s 
Magazine. The publishers kept dark 
as to the subject-matter of this novel, 
but they are banking heavily on its 
success. Mrs. Deland is to be compli- 
mented on her literary reticence. It is 
unusual in these days for a successful 
novelist to allow several years to elapse 
between novels. 

"Trilby as a book may be gather- 
ing dust on the library shelves, but as 
a play it is going on its successful career, 
with the original Svengali, Mr. Wilton 
Lackaye. to the fore. 

If there is anything in getting a word 
of commendation from the President, 
Mr. Madison J. Cawein's new volume, 

Photo by Bangs 


"The Vale of the Temple," should 
attract more attention than poetry 
usually does. Mr. Cawein has long 
been known to readers of verse as a 
poet with a charming talent, not very 
great, but genuine. It was of Mr. 
Cawein that the late H. C. Bunner 
wrote many years ago in Puck some 
verses lamenting that any man should 
turn his attention to poetry. I cannot 
recall a whole stanza of this "poem," 
but I remember that it ended with the 
line that "Madison J. Cawein has a 
hard row to hoe." Mr. Bunner did 
not mean Mr. Cawein alone, but any 
man who hoped to gain recognition 
through the medium of verse. 


The Critic 

In the new edition of Miss Agnes 
Repplier's "In Our Convent Days," 
will be a frontispiece portrait of Miss 
Repplier and Mrs. Elizabeth Robins 
Pennell taken when they were school- 
girls together. 

Our magazine editors apparently be- 
lieve that reminiscences, biographies, 
autobiographies, diaries, letters, and 
such like are quite as interesting to 
their readers as fiction. The sum, 
$50,000, paid by the Century Magazine 
for the Hay-Nicolay "Life of Lincoln" 
in serial form is twice as much as was 
ever paid for any novel; and I am 
told that McClures Magazine has paid 
even more for the serial rights of Carl 
Schurz's, "Memoirs" now running 
through its columns. The Wadding- 
ton papers were among the most inter- 
esting published in Scribner 's, and now 
diaries and letters of George Bancroft, 
the famous American historian, are to 
be published in that magazine. Mr. 
Bancroft was a very old man at the 
time of his death, and had known 
during the course of his interesting life 
such famous men as Byron, Lafayette, 
Goethe, Humboldt, Lamartine, Guizot, 
Bismarck, and Moltke. 

The Rev. Percy Grant, of the Church 
of the Ascension, whose sermons are 
distinguished for their contemporane- 
ous human interest, has just published 
a volume of poems — "Ad Mat rem" — 
through the Cheltenham Press. The 
Cheltenham Press,' by the way, is Mr. 
Ingalls Kimball, an original member of 
the firm of Stone & Kimball, which 
was organized and doing a good busi- 
ness while its two members were Har- 
vard undergraduates. 

In reply to many inquiries I beg to 
state that Miss Elisabeth Luther Cary's 
"Studies" of George Meredith's novels 
will be published in book form before 


For the benefit of those who do not 
know the tricks of English pronuncia- 

tion, I may say that the name of the 
hero of Mrs. Humphry Ward's novel, 
"Fenwick's Career," is pronounced as 
though there were no "w" in it — 
Fen'ick. There is a foundation of fact 
in this story as well as in most of those 
written by Mrs. Ward. This author 
does not pretend to follow the lives of 
her originals absolutely; she simply 
takes them as the foundation. The 
"Fenwick" of her new story is ap- 
parently the painter Romney. There 
is a guess that the heroine is Lady 
Hamilton, but I have heard this em- 
phatically denied by those who ought 
to know best. 

Mrs. Carter Harrison, the wife of 
Chicago's ex-Mayor, has a new fairy- 
book ready, "The Moon Princess." 
One would not suppose that the 
thoughts of the wife of a Chicago 
Mayor would turn to fairyland, but 
apparently they do. 

It is pleasant to know that a book of 
ruch gentle qualities as Mr. Charles 
Warren Stoddard's "The Island of 
Tranquil Delights" is in its third edi- 
tion. In these days the very title of 
the book is restful after so much of the 
strenuous life in prose and poetry. 


A platform partnership has been 
formed between Mr. Jerome K. Jer- 
ome and Mr. Charles Battell Loomis. 
This mixture of English and American 
humor ought to be interesting. 


It is not alone members of the the- 
atrical profession who have press 
agents. Certain authors seem to find 
them harmless necessary adjuncts to 
their profession. I am in receipt of a 
note sent out by an agent in which his 
author is described as a "well-known so- 
ciety leader," and later on in the para- 
graph as "the representative of one of 
the oldest and most distinguished fami- 
lies of Boston." Still farther on in the 
paragraph it is announced that "he en- 
joys the distinction of being one of two 
unofficial Americans presented by the 

The Lounger 

Copyright by Vander Weyde, 1905 


American Ambassador to King Edward 
VII. at the first levee held in St. 
James's Palace by a King of England 
since the reign of William IV." Just 
what bearing this has upon his ability 
as a writer is not made quite clear. 

The character of Mr. Winston Church- 
ill's new novel may be inferred from 
the fact that it is to be .illustrated by 

Mrs. Florence Scovel Shinn. Mrs. 
Shinn's illustrations it is well known 
are of the humorous sort, and have 
done much to enliven even such lively 
pages as those of "Mrs. Wiggs" and 
"Susan Clegg." 


Speaking of poetry, the John Lane 
Company has just published a new 


The Critic 

Photo by Beresford 


volume of verse by the late Laurence 
Hope. I have spoken before of "The 
Garden of Kama: An Indian Love," 
and "Stars of the Desert," by this au- 
thor, and with praise. Laurence Hope, 
who in private life was Violet Nicolson, 
was a woman of tremendous passions. 
How much of the poems that she has 
printed were translations, how much 
her own, it would be hard to say; but 
I imagine if they are translations that 
the author put as much of herself into 

them as FitzGerald did into his trans- 
lations of the " Rubaiyat." This new 
volume, "Indian Love," is the last that 
we will get from Laurence Hope, for, 
quite in character with her writings and 
temperament, she committed suicide, 
through grief over the death of her 
husband, only a few months ago. The 
poems in "Stars of the Desert " were 
the finest of this writer, but there are 
separate poems in other volumes that 
are quite up to the best of these. From 

The Lounger 


the present volume I quote this beauti- 
ful lyric called "My Desire" : 

Fate has given me many a gift 

To which men must aspire, 
Lovely, precious, and costly things, 

But not my heart's desire. 

Many a man has a secret dream 

Of where his soul would be ; 
Mine is a low, verandahed house, 

In a tope beside the sea. 

Over the roof tall palms should wave, 

Swaying from side to side, 
Every night we should fall asleep 

To the rhythm of the tide. 

The dawn should be gay with songs of birds, 
And the stir of fluttering wings ; 

Surely the joy of life is hid 
In simple and tender things ! 

At eve the waves would shimmer with gold 

In the rosy sunset rays, 
Emerald velvet flats of rice 

Would rest the landward gaze. 

A boat must rock at the laterite steps 

In a reef-protected pool, 
For we should sail through the starlit night 

When the winds were calm and cool. 

I am so tired of all this world, 

Its folly and fret and care, 
Find me a little scented home 

Amongst thy loosened hair. 

Many a man has a secret dream 

Of where his life might be ; 
Mine is a lovely, lonely place 

With sunshine and the sea. 


I have been at some pains to get this 
portrait of the late Laurence Hope, 
whose death by her own hand has al- 
ready been chronicled in this magazine. 
Her posthumous volume, "Indian 
Love," is reviewed by Miss Edith M. 
Thomas on another page. The well- 
known English critic Richard Garnett, 
writing of her in the London Bookman, 

Had Laurence Hope, like George Sand, been 
capable of transferring her emotional enthusiasm to 
historical romance, or social politics, or the idyll of 
country life, she might have won a great name, but 
emotion with her was absorbed by a single passion; 
like that other Hope of Mr. Watts's canvas, she had 
but one string to her lyre. 

But that one string, I may add, was 
capable of sounding heights and depths 
of passion that few poets of this day 
and generation have reached. 

Mr. Vaughan Kester, whose story of 
life in the Mississippi Valley during the 
middle part of the last century, "The 
Fortunes of the Landrays," wrote most 
of his book at the historic Woodlawn 


Give me a soft and secret place 
Against thine amber breast, 

Where, hidden away from all mankind, 
My soul may come to rest. 

Mansion in Virginia of which his 
brother, Paul Kester, the dramatist, 
up to a year ago, was the owner. 
Woodlawn Mansion is intimately as- 

I 10 

The Critic 


sociated with the memory of George 
Washington, for it was the portion of 
his estate that he cut off from the home 
plantation by his will to become the 
residence of his adopted daughter, 
Nellie Custis. When the Kester 
brothers first acquired the property it 
was in a sadly neglected state, but dur- 
ing the four years of their ownership 

they restored it and developed it, until 
it is now one of the most beautiful 
properties in Virginia. Mr. Kester 
owns now an even more interesting 
residence, Argill Castle, in Westmore- 
land County, England, which he pur- 
chased last spring and took his family 
to last summer. Argill Castle, while 
not of the oldest, is still one of the most 

The Lounger 

1 1 1 

picturesque of its kind in England, and 
is filled with historic and romantic 

Those who think that the American 
playwright is a poorly paid individual 
have only to look at this picture of 
Mr. Kester's castle to change their 
minds, at least as far as he is concerned. 
Curiously enough, Mr. Kester had 
never crossed the ocean until he sailed 
for England to occupy his picturesque 
castle in the Lake country. 

I am glad to be able to present this 
new photograph of Mr. John Luther 
Long. Up to the present time the 
only picture of Mr. Long that has been 
published shows him to be a rather 
sentimental-looking young man with a 
hat pushed away back on his head. 
The present picture is a much better 
portrait, and shows the serious writer — 
the man who created " Madame Butter- 
fly " — which charming story, by the 
way, has recently been made the sub- 
ject of an opera and sung with success 
in Italy. 

A book of the maxims of Lord 
Beaconsfield has recently been pub- 
lished in London. The Earl's cyni- 
cism is exemplified in two quotations 
taken at random : 

Mrs. Darlington Vere was a most successful 
woman, lucky in everything — lucky even in her 
husband, for he died. 

Most marriages turn out unhappy. Among the 
lower orders, if we may judge from the newspapers, 
they are always killing their wives, and in our class 
we get rid of them in a more polished way, or they 
get rid of us. 

There is nothing personal in these 
remarks, for the marriage of Lord 
Beaconsfield was known to have been 
an unusually happy one. 

Mr. E. Gordon Craig, the talented 
son of Miss Ellen Terry, has sent me 
a copy of his pamphlet on "The Art of 
the Theatre," illustrated from his own 
designs of stage setting. While I find 
these designs interesting I cannot think 

that they would be very effective be- 
hind the footlights. 


When we think of the National Con- 
servatory of Music we can hardly re- 
member when it was not with us: but 
according to a recently published circu- 
lar it is only twenty years old. The 
National Conservatory was founded by 
Mrs. Jeannette M. Thurber, whose un- 
tiring enthusiasm has held it together 
through stormy times. If the Con- 
servatory had never done anything else 
than the bringing of Dvorak to this 
country, it would have proved its ex- 
cuse for being. 

A distinguished American author, 
whose novels I may say have the 
largest sale in England of any of his 
fellow-countrymen, was amused re- 
cently by the receipt of this letter from 
a London publisher, whose name, by 
the way, he tells me he had never 
heard : 

It has occurred to me you may feel disposed to 
publish under my auspices, and if you have a new 
novel ready or in preparation of the regulation 6/- 
length I shall be glad if you will kindly bear me in 
mind. Terms cash down on acceptance within a 
week of the receipt of the MS. for world volume 
rights only, or, if you prefer, publication on a 

The Art of the 


t 9 o 5 

Trusting I may have the pleasure of doing busi- 
ness and hoping to hear from you soon, faithfully 


I 12 

The Critic 

If it were as easy as this publisher 
seems to think to get world volume 
rights of the most popular American 
writers on his list, the publishing busi- 
ness would not offer as many knotty 
problems to those who follow it as it 
does at the present time. 

tice " Mr. Wagner takes up in the 
genial, human, and simple way, which 
by this time must be familiar to nearly 
every reading person in the United 
States, the essentials of right and duty 
towards oneself and towards others. 
"The Gospel of Life" is a volume of 


Charles Wagner has not yet ceased 
to be an influence with us. His im- 
pressions of President Roosevelt, in 
the form of an account of his visit to 
the White House when he was in 
America last year on a lecture-tour, 
have recently appeared in McClure 's 
Magazine, and there are announced 
two new books from his pen, "Justice" 
and "The Gospel of Life." In "Jus- 

sermons interpreting the Gospel in 
terms of real life. Mr. Wagner has 
practically completed his impressions 
of America, which are now appearing 
in a French magazine, and will probably 
be brought out serially in America, 
later to be produced in book form. 
While in this country Pastor Wagner 
lived the strenuous rather than the 
simple life. He was on the go from 

The Lounger 


early morn till dewy eve, with fetes and 
feasts thrown in. 

By permission of the publishers, The 
John Lane Company, we reproduce the 
original manuscript of William Wat- 


From his adventurous prime 
He dreamed the dream sublime 
Over his wandering youth 
It hung, a beckoning star. 
At last the vision fled, 


M>*~^'-cL ^ 

JyM 1 



— f^f^^x. - 

ft / 


sit,.**-— Wr /<xr- <cJ££~>- 



son's poem on "Columbus," which was 
given to the Congressional Library, at 
Washington, at the suggestion of the 
late Hon. John Hay. As it is almost 
impossible to read Mr. Watson's manu- 
script, we give an interpretation of it 
in plain type. 

And left him in its stead 
The scarce sublimer truth, 
The world he found afar. 

The scattered isles that stand 
Warding the mightier land 
Yielded their maidenhood 
To his imperious prow. 


The Critic 

The mainland within call 
Lay vast and virginal.; 
In its blue porch he stood : 
No more did fate allow. 

No more ! but ah, how much, 
To be the first to touch 
The veriest azure hem 
Of that majestic robe ! 
Lord of the lordly sea, 
Earth's mightiest sailor he : 

Great Captain among them, 
The captors of the globe. 

When shall the world forget 
Thy glory and our debt, 
Indomitable soul, 
Immortal Genoese ? 
Not while the shrewd salt gale 
Whines amid shroud and sail, 
Above the rhythmic roll 
And thunder of the seas. 

Three Generations of Romances 



Grandmother was tatting in the 
mullioned window. Her kerchief was 
modestly crossed on her alabaster neck. 
Her ankles were also crossed. She had 
on a skimpy gown that was twenty- 
four inches round the waist and forty- 
four round the hem. Grandmother's 
hair was tied up in a snood. A sampler 
hung on the wall. Some posset boiled 
on the hob. A pair of snuffers lay 
across a pair of wool-cards. 

Grandmother sighed as she tatted. 
Then her soft azure eyes gazed mod- 
estly out of the mullions. A blush at 
once overspread the lily-white of her 
complexion. Her brooch heaved rap- 
idly up and down. 

In sooth it was Edward Merton who 
was approaching. Grandmother was 
terrible agitated ; her very instep shook 
like an aspen. The blush yielded to a 
becoming pallor. She looked out of 
the window again. 

Edward Merton was still approach- 

Grandmother's brooch nearly burst 
with maidenly emotion. Her taper 
fingers let the tatting cease to tat. It 
fell to the floor unheeded and the next 
instant Grandmother nearly fell on it. 

For Edward Merton was approached 
— aye — he was even knocking — was 
even lifting the latch — was within! 

How can my pen describe Edward 
Merton's appearance as he tripped over 
the cat, demolished a spinning-wheel, 
and brought up against Grandmother's 
father's "Grandfather's Clock "? You 

see I am seventy years too early for the 
vernacular which would simply say that 
he had been on a terrible tear and was 
a sight. But I will do my best with 
what 1840 provides for the circum- 

Edward Merton was distinguished- 
looking; he came of virtuous and highly 
respected parents, but alas! — 

Edward's hair and cravat were black 
and both spread over a stock that was 
much disordered. His eyeballs were 
black also, and seemed to be turning 
around and around in his flushed and 
fevered brain. The Wine Cup and its 
Curse were printed all over his waist- 
coat, and also all over the rest of him. 
Alas! Alas! — 

You cannot wonder that when he 
started to embrace Grandmother she 
averted her face and waved him away, 
while a pearly tear coursed unbidden 
over her ivory profile. He was forced 
to go back to the clock and to feign an 
ease which he was far from experienc- 
ing, for Edward Merton's impulses 
were good, — it was only that he was 
— Alas ! 

Grandmother stayed averted and 
waving for quite a while, and then 
wiped away the tell-tale tear, murmur- 

What, Merton, — again!" 

The words were simple but shocking 
as live wires. Edward hung his head. 
He had good reason to be overcome by 
so deserved yet merciful a reproach* 
Its current seemed to catch him corner- 
ways. He was evidently touched. 

Three Generations of Romances 


Grandmother perceived her advan- 
tage even though she failed to perceive 
that he was standing on the tatting. 

She spoke with energy: 

"Why, Merton, will you thus break 
my heart? Why will you persist in 
such evil courses? Why do you not 
sign the Pledge? " 

Edward looked at her. The light of 
eloquence flooded her. She seemed 
like some goddess earth-born. His 
worse than wasted life rose up before 
him. Manly resolve kindled his bosom, 
hope dashed high on every breaking 
rock. He lifted up his head. He was 

"For Thee, oh Best and Fairest," — ■ 
he cried, clasping Grandmother to his 
ruffled bosom, — "for thee I would 
promise to do all things possible or 

A soft radiance bathed Grandmother 
in celestial joy. 

"You will sign the Pledge?" she 
cried in ecstasy. 

"I will sign," said Edward Merton 

He signed. 

He married Grandmother. 

Alas! — 


Mamma sat in a bower, working red 
roses and white beads into a three- 
corner shelf-mat. Her hoop-skirt was 
two yards across, she had ringlet's on 
each side. Although frail as a lily the 
Soul of Mamma was lofty and noble, 
— as you will see. 

After carefully outlining a green 
thorn and sewing a bead dew-drop on 
the extreme end, Mamma suddenly 

It was Clement — her childhood's 
play-fellow— who had come up behind 
her unperceived with a real thorn. 

" Industrious, — ever industrious," 
he exclaimed teasingly, picking up her 
left-hand bunch of ringlets and press- 
ing them to his lips. "Is that red rose 
so absorbing that I am altogether 
forgot? " 

Mamma looked earnestly around 
over her shoulder. 

"No, Clement," she said gravely, 

"you. are not forgotten, but in this 
hour of Peril other voices should out- 
weigh mine." 

"I hear no voice but yours at pres- 
ent," said Clement, striving to speak 
carelessly. Nevertheless, a close ob- 
server may have easily observed that 
he suddenly became extremely pale. 

Mamma stuck in her needle, put 
aside her work, and rose to her feet. 
Softness and emotion strove for mas- 
tery in the glowing splendor of her 
raven eye. 

"Clement," she said, extending one 
hand north and the other south like a 
Demosthenes, or a weather-cock, "if 
the cannon of Fort Sumter found you 
deaf, strive to recall the echo from Bull 
Run. If you were not in on the March 
to the Sea get out and steal some other 
march. If the shrieks of the dead and 
dying have not touched you surely the 
buying of substitutes has. Clement — " 
Mamma's voice faltered, she gathered 
all her strength — "Clement, if no other 
call has been heard by you — hear 
mine now. I beseech — nay — I im- 
plore! " 

She was irresistible. Clement was 

"I will go!" he cried with enthusi- 

Mamma sank down exhausted. 

"I have given a soldier to my coun- 
try," she said, and allowed Clement to 
cut a ringlet for a souvenir. 

He cut it all wrong and the short 
hair showed. 

"Too bad," said Mamma, thought- 
fully, when she saw herself in the 
mirror next time, — "but if Clement 
goes to the war I shall have peace and 
Augustus won't mind the loss of one 
curl if he has not to be tormented by 

(Mamma married Frederick in the 


I stood in the boat-house doing 
Physical Culture Exercises. After my 
two-mile swim and six-mile scull each 
morning I invariably do exercises for 
an hour. It preserves mental poise, 
regulates the distribution of oxygen 
and builds up the knee-pans. 


The Critic 

Just as I was putting myself through 
a hoop according to the diagram in last 
Sunday's paper Jack came rushing in. 
Jack is as tanned as I am, only half-a- 
head shorter, and holds the champion- 
ship for hopping on the left leg. 

"My dear girl," he cried (we have 
known each other a fortnight and 
more)— "do be careful, — you might so 
easily break the hoop." 

"What did you come here for?" I 
asked, tossing the hoop away and pick- 
ing up a broomstick with which to 
commit further prodigies. 

"I came" — said Jack — "to tell you 
that Port Arthur has fallen." 

I dropped the broomstick. I was 
as near to staggered as a post-graduate 
in heliocentrics could possibly be. 

"Fallen?" I shrieked. 

"Fallen," repeated Jack. 

Then I remembered. 

"Oh, well, I don't care," I said, 
spinning an oar on my thumb, "it 
flustered me a bit on account of a bet 
that I 'd made, but after all — " 

" What bet ? " interrupted Jack, light- 
ing a cigarette without permission (Jack 
is thoroughly up to date). 

"A bet with little To-ko who keeps 
the Jap Store," I said lightly. 

"What did you bet?" 

" My hand against that gold-em- 
broidered kimono that hangs in the 

"What ever made you bet your 
hand? " Jack asked. 

"I 'm neither an heiress nor a type- 
writer, so I had nothing else to bet." 

Jack laughed. 

"Of course you '11 treat it as a joke 
now? " he said. 

I drew myself up. 

"Of course I will not," I said, "am 
I not an American girl? " 

He turned white behind his tan. 

"Girl — girl — " he stammered, "of 
course you 're an American girl and 
of course honor is all right and a fine 
thing in its way — but in a case like 

"Honor! Who spoke of honor? " I 
interrupted haughtily. 

"I — you — " he stumbled, — then 

"It is n't a question of honor at all " 
— (I was fairly a-scorch with indigna- 
tion !) — "don't you know that little 
To-ko is only keeping a store so as to 
learn colloquial English, and that in 
his own land he is " 

"Is what?" Jack gasped. 

"A marquis! " I said, triumphantly. 

The Making of Books 


GOOD books have but one purpose: 
to comfort the heart and stimulate the 
mind. Books that we love play the 
part of invisible friends. We get from 
them a continuous current of sympathy 
which acts and reacts in various ways 
on our own mind and the minds of 
others. It is through sympathy that 
the magic current is created. A book 
is valued not so much for what it re- 
veals in the realm of pure intellect as 
for what it reveals of the secret senti- 
ments and feelings of the reader. In 
books we see ourselves in the author 
and become acquainted with our own 
double, so to speak, as a second person. 
The best writers, like the best poets, 

"hold the mirror up to nature." We 
admire most in every writer not that 
which we do not understand, but that 
which we have long felt but never 
expressed, the sentiments which we 
have never been able to formulate in 
words, the emotions that seemed too 
deep to be brought to the surface, the 
dreams that seemed too vague and dis- 
tant for rhyme or reason. As we are 
attracted to the persons we love best 
not because some one else tells us to 
love them, so are we attracted to the 
books which suit best our age, temper, 
and experience. We are not influenced 
by praise or blame in these things; 
the attraction comes from within. For 

The flaking of Books 


every category of thought and experi- 
ence there is a corresponding class of 
books; for every temperament, some 
other mind whose mission it is to per- 
form the service of self-revealment. 
There is a secret attraction which leads 
us to certain books little read by the 
public, perhaps unknown to the public. 
In youth we enjoy most the books of 
action, because action is the thing we 
most desire; when we begin to think 
we become interested in ideas, and 
eventually we prefer the writers whose 
sentiments and experiences approach 
nearest our own. No one can appro- 
priate the wisdom of another mind ; we 
can only appropriate the consolation 
offered by another. Intuition is in- 
herited knowledge; but the world is 
the distillery of wisdom. Drop by 
drop sagacity is distilled from experi- 
ence and the liquor of life put away in 
the memory to mature with age. A 
mushroom comes up suddenly and soon 
withers; but the oak grows slowly and 
lives long. Fleeting things give con- 
fused impressions; the mind has no 
time to centre on the cause of fleeting 
phenomena. We gravitate to certain 
books as to certain people; and, as no 
system of education succeeds in giving 
us intellectual sensations and poetic 
emotions of which we are not capable, 
so no school of art or literature has ever 
succeeded in weaning the mind from 
the thing which suits it best. As for 
real feeling and sentiment, if you would 
make others weep, you must, as Horace 
says, begin by weeping yourself. 

While it is true that many are carried 
away by the literary fashions of the 
time because of the influence of passing 
modes, underneath these things there 
is a force which compels people to pre- 
fer one book to another. 

As for books of criticism, an abyss 
separates the critical spirit of 1890 from 
that of 1902, and it is not too much to 
say that in another decade the narrow 
and insular customs and teachings of 
the latter part of the nineteenth cen- 
tury will appear as vagaries enacted 
in another world and will have as little 
influence on serious minds as the strange 
old fashions of i860 now have upon us. 
The truth is that the force which some 

people persist in ignoring is the force 
which has brought about the recent 
rapid changes in thought and criticism. 
That force is science. It is a cold, ma- 
terial thing to look at, but it has both 
soul and spirit, it assumes a sort of 
personality. It was the engineer who 
made a visit from New York to London 
a mere matter of a six-days pleasure- 
excursion, put Paris within seven hours 
of London, and made it possible for 
dramatic and art critics to attend first 
nights and the opening of exhibitions 
in Berlin, Vienna, and Rome, and be 
back again in London within a period 
of a few days. The telegraph and the 
steam-engine have accomplished a uni- 
versal miracle. The telegraph alone 
brings the opinions of people living at 
the ends of the earth into our homes 
every morning, and we are made to 
see and feel what insularity really 
means. Art and science force the most 
obtuse to bow before a power superior 
to mere sentiment and book-learning. 
A ship-load of excursionists visit a for- 
eign land for the first time. They start 
out brimming over with prejudice and 
haughty with national conceit, but the 
instant they land ©n a foreign shore 
they find themselves surrounded by 
people and things which set a cold- 
blooded defiance to every prejudice, 
every gesture, every thought and feel- 
ing which they bring with them. It is 
useless to complain. If they do not 
understand the language, so much the 
worse; if they do not like the cooking, 
again so much the worse; at any rate 
they must eat to live and make gestures 
to be understood. It is the only deaf 
and dumb exercise some people ever 
get. But even this small experience is 
something. They now begin to under- 
stand the meaning of the word "travel." 
To many minds the first experience 
in a foreign country is nothing short of 
an intellectual revelation. Here, on the 
soil of Lo.ndon, Paris, Berlin, or Rome, 
books of travel begin to be judged for 
exactly what they are — some good, and 
many very bad. The intelligent mind 
begins to imbibe, as if by magic, new 
truths culled from the garden of cos- 
mopolitan experience. Without quite 
knowing how or why, the wide-awake 


The Critic 

traveller has attained a certain knowl- 
edge of people and things which books 
were powerless to bestow, and he re- 
turns home wiser, more critical, with a 
great deal of his provincial prejudice 
worn off. A long sojourn abroad fin- 
ishes the all-important education and 
the critical mind is forever freed from 
old-fashioned prejudice and cock-sure 
judgments. And so we are prevented 
from repeating the old, sentimental 
error that books, philosophy, and latter- 
day schools of thought have wrought 
the great intellectual change which the 
world has lately seen. The railroad 
and the steamship are the miracle 
workers. What will the changes not 
be in another twenty years! Books of 
critical and philosophical thought not 
based on the new order will at once be 
cast aside as worthless. Every critical 
work which gives the least sign of the 
insular and provincial spirit will be 
ignored as worse than useless. It will 
be found impossible to sit in London, 
Paris, or New York, as Carlyle sat in 
Chelsea, and produce acceptable judg- 
ments on anything or anybody. To 
deal with foreign questions without 
having moved about in the world, even 
now, means contradiction and refuta- 
tion at the hands of any observing 
sailor, soldier, or commercial traveller 
who may care to take up the pen and 
write. The universal rule now is: ex- 
perience first, then analysis and judg- 
ment. Bacon was right: books must 
follow science. 

There has been much waste of time 
and energy in the making of modern 
books. Writers like Hugo, Balzac, 
Tolstoy, make one think of a locomo- 
tive with the steam kept at high-pres- 
sure. Carlyle put into "Sartor Resar- 
tus" psychological pressure sufficient to 
found a colony or build a dozen retreats 
for aged working men. The fault of 
"Sartor Resartus " lies in its size. It 
is a book instead of an essay. What 
energy was expended here to little or 
no purpose! Preaching nullifies itself 
when it passes a certain point. Many 
great writers spend three or four times 
more dynamic power than is needed in 
the work they have to do. True, if 
the engineer did not let off the steam 

there would be an explosion. But that 
is another matter. All superfluous 
work is old-fashioned the moment it is 
printed. When we say of a serious 
work it has no raison d'etre we admit 
its inutility ; and the lack of clarity and 
precision in the manner of composition 
in any work is sufficient to nullify the 
whole. But in considering books like 
"Sartor Resartus " we have to consider 
two things combined in one: the man- 
ner and the subject. If Carlyle had 
reduced this mass of eloquence and 
energy to one compact essay of fifteen 
pages how different would have been 
the result. People need suggestive 
writing far more than the didactic and 
the philosophical. Again, consider the 
time and energy wasted in writing the 
"History of Frederick the Great" in 
ten volumes! Is there any one in our 
day, excepting a professional historian, 
willing to give up whole weeks to the 
reading of such a work? 

Balzac wore himself out in writing 
scores of novels which no one reads 
now. He left three or four master- 
pieces, and died before he had time 
either to see or enjoy life. In "Peace 
and War " and "Anna Karenina " 
much energy is wasted. Long works 
are too often like long sermons which 
end in fatigue. There are laws which 
defy even the forces of genius to render 
void. There is something painful in 
the thought of Victor Hugo sitting 
down in the cold and cheerless room 
of a Brussels hotel, with bread and 
water before him, there to scribble as 
fast as the pen can be made to 'move 
all day and half the night, like an 
automaton without sense or sensibility. 
There is in such work much of the 
garrulous spirit, little of the soul of 
inspiration. And the futility of it is 
appalling. Balzac, who sat in his garret 
all day and night writing novels which 
found little favor even in his own day, 
may have thought such books abso- 
lutely necessary, but we know now for 
a certainty that they were not. And, 
somehow, we do not sympathize with 
an author who writes for twenty-four 
hours without intermission. Georges 
Sand seated herself at her writing-desk 
and began work much as a type-writer 

The flaking of Books 


would begin to copy. When she had 
filled a sheet of paper she let it fall on 
the carpet; when the carpet all about 
her was covered with manuscript she 
would cease writing. Zola, in his turn, 
wrote six pages every morning. We 
can hardly blame some people for con- 
sidering genius to be automatic and 
believing that it writes without know- 
ing how or why. 

It is impossible that a book which 
contains neither scientific analysis nor 
literary inspiration can long hold a 
serious place in the intellectual world. 
There are no supreme works written in 
the ordinary moods. Chateaubriand, 
Flaubert, and Renan meditated for 
months, and sometimes years, before 
beginning a work. They waited for 
the inspiration. With them, thought 
was like a conscience; a mood, some- 
thing sacred; an inspiration like an 
eternal benediction. They were artists 
in the sense in which Goethe speaks of 
art. Chateaubriand died in 1848, and 
Balzac in 1850 ; the first was thirty 
years writing his "Memoirs," the sec- 
ond wrote scores of novels which no 
one reads; and while Georges Sand 
was daily covering her carpet with 
manuscript, her friend Gustave Flau- 
bert was waiting for the idea, taking 
notes, meditating, correcting. 

Adventure and romance come to 
every one who moves about in the 
world. The more people travel the 
less interest they take in certain books. 
When we read Gibbon we are held by 
the personal style of the writer and the 
relation of romantic facts. He tells us 
of real people. We move on and on 
with the historian, feeling that we are 
walking the earth and meeting its deni- 
zens in flesh and blood. We are 
brought face to face with human pas- 
sions, ambitions, follies, adventures; 
we pass from one epoch to another by 
a natural process. This is why Gibbon 
is great. But Chateaubriand is still 
greater, for the reason that he himsef 
is telling us what he saw, what he 
heard, what he felt. History, there- 
fore, is of two kinds: what is related 
from documentary evidence as actual 
reality, and what is related as personal 
experience. But personal experience 

will always take the first place in the 
minds and the hearts of people who 
think. "Vanity Fair " is certainly the 
work of a master ; but the difference be- 
tween "Vanity Fair" and De Quincey's 
"Confessions" is that the first enter- 
tains us by fictional scenes and circum- 
stances, while the second entertains 
and instructs us on a basis of actual 
fact, and compels us to descend or rise 
with the author through scene after 
scene of personal hope and despair, 
physical suffering, and mental anguish, 
altogether individual, experienced, and 
real. De Quincey's "Confessions" 
cause us to live through a period of 
psychological and physical experience 
worth more than all the sermons ever 
preached against the evils of opium 
eating. For we get a moral without 
preaching and art without artifice. 
And for this reason the "Confessions " 
will live when "Vanity Fair" has 
passed away. 

In works of fiction we imagine we 
know; in personal works we feel that 
we know. For the imagination leaves 
the mind in doubt and the result is 
often negative. A personal narrative 
contains, first of all, the advantage of 
the psychological effect of actual ex- 
perience; secondly, the indelible im- 
pression created by the knowledge of 
that experience. In drama the as- 
sumption of sincerity weakens the im- 
pression ; one gesture too much, one 
movement in the wrong place is enough 
to dissipate the illusion of reality. The 
greatest sorrows are the most silent ; 
and the personal feeling is one of the 
secrets of supreme work. The minds 
who have risen above ephemeral states 
and passions, who have attained a plane 
superior to the noises of the world, are 
the ones who hold the most authority 
and the most charm. In the race of 
genius they win in a canter. It is the 
sententious and sensitive "I" which 
gives the essays of Montaigne their 
wonderful vitality. He never thinks 
until he begins to write, and the spirit 
that moves him is, to a certain extent, 
garrulous ; but the narrative of personal 
hopes, fears, doubts, and daily impres- 
sions, told with candor, and serenity, 
makes the book immortal. In the 


The Critic 

" Essais" we are not only thinking, but 
living with a human being. It is phi- 
losophy mingled with human experi- 
ence. Montaigne holds us by his 
personal gossip, his natural manner, 
and a rare gift of penetration and com- 
mon-sense. No wonder Madame de 
Sevigne cried: "Ah! l'aimable homme 
que Montaigne! qu'il est de bonne 
compagnie ! c'est mon ami; mais a 
force d'etre ancien il m'est nouveau. 
Mon Dieu ! que ce livre est plein de 
bon sens! " 

The writers who assume an authority 
by preaching it are never the ones who 
wholly succeed. The real authorities 
are too serious to take the world seri- 
ously. The greatest content themselves 
with transcribing impressions, record- 
ing events, portraying persons, spiritual 
states, and material conditions in the 
simplest manner possible. They pos- 
sess too much common-sense to become 
fanatical, and too much discretion to 
sermonize. Montaigne, Bacon, Gib- 
bon, Chateaubriand, Goethe, Flaubert, 
Renan, were egoists in the highest 
and most philosophical meaning of the 
word. The true authoritative mood 
is instinctive; it is not put on as a war- 
rior would don a coat of mail. Bacon 
writes with the force of an eternal 
edict; Gibbon with the pomp of a 
Roman triumph; Flaubert with a kind 
of philological magic intended only for 
his equals; Renan with the placidity 
of a human sphinx who never winks or 
winces; Chateaubriand with something 
like the quality of an elegiac symphony 
whose movements include the heroic 
and the pastoral. 

Every perfect thing passes beyond 
the limit of the definable. The con- 
tour and expression of the highest 
personal beauty, the fragrance of the 
rarest flowers, the suggestive melodies 
in the most inspired music, the atmos- 
pheric influence of a perfect day or a 
moonlight night — these and other 
things possess an element and an in- 
fluence which evade analysis. Every- 
thing that can be described with 
precision falls below the level of su- 
preme attainment. It is easy to analyze 
the fabric of the loom, but the gossamer 
web which imagination and sentiment 

weave from the souvenirs and sensa- 
tions of life eludes precise definition. 
Mere power can never create an atmos- 
phere in any art. The psycho-artistic 
atmosphere constitutes the creative 
charm. Works like "L'Assommoir " 
make us feel the reality of the author's 
power without poetic distinction. No 
athletic grace is required in the wield- 
ing of a mallet or a battle-axe. And 
there is a marked difference between 
the egoism of power and the egoism of 
intellect. Powerful writers are never 
happy unless they are manifesting their 
power. It would be too much to ask 
them to desist for a period long enough 
to distinguish and discriminate. But 
the finer egoism of the intellect is not 
content with the writing of six pages 
every morning; it is inspired by a feel- 
ing of selection, a sense of the economy 
of moods and emotions. Between per- 
sonal power and personal charm there is 
a great gulf fixed. The author of "L'As- 
sommoir" forces the reader along, for 
the reader does not always desire to go. 
The author of "Sylvestre Bonnard " 
persuades, creates an atmosphere, and 
charms. With him we are glad to go. 
M. Anatole France has tact, taste, 
and philosophical insight. He is full of 
the common-sense which accompanies 
the highest critical faculty. While 
Zola expended a vast amount of power 
in depicting and stating the obvious, 
M. Anatole France uses the obvious as 
a frame in which to set a fine picture. 
He knows how to be witty and wise 
for divers minds — Zola for a much 
larger class with limited minds. The 
energy displayed in "L'Assommoir" 
is that of the thunder-storm. We 
know exactly where we are going be- 
fore we read many chapters : the clouds 
are black, the atmosphere sultry, and 
we look for thunder and lightning. In 
the beginning of the book we witness 
a terrific battle between washerwomen 
who have muscles like prize-fighters. 
The sensitive reader feels like holding 
his head between his hands and shout- 
ing, like Macbeth : "I'll see no more ! ' ' 
We move on steadily after this into an 
element of blind passion and delirium 
tremens. Now, in depicting scenes of 
pugilism and delirium tremens the one 

Out=of= Doors from Labrador to Africa 


thing needed is puissance; the things 
which are not needed are delicacy, 
poetic nuance, a high standard of taste. 
Emile Zola expresses physical energy, 
Anatole France intellectual force. And 
it would be idle to deny that a two- 
column newspaper dialogue of M. Ber- 
geret produces a better effect on the 
minds of critical readers than a whole 
book by M. Zola. Such is the differ- 
ence between these two authors, living 
in the same city and writing in the 
same language. 

Art is common-sense made beautiful. 
The miracle of the idealization of the 
revolting has not yet been produced. 
Anatole France expresses with the pen 
what the great artists express with the 
brush and the chisel; and if the Mar- 
quise de Sevigne were living now she 
would certainly exclaim: "Ah! l'aima- 
ble homme que Monsieur Bergeret ! " 

In the making of books it is neces- 
sary to consider the two principal kinds 
of books which attain success: the 
works which are written in and for a 
certain city or country, and those which 
rise above the local idea. The former 
are the first to be neglected in the 
march of time. The local environment 
changes much more rapidly than the 
national; the national more rapidly 

than the universal. So rapidly do 
local conditions and appearances change 
in our age that it is possible for a suc- 
cessful book to become old-fashioned 
in the space of five years. Is there, 
indeed, a popular work of to-day which 
will be read a hundred years hence? 
There will be ten times as many good 
books written about persons and events 
of the time which people will be com- 
pelled to read, and the want of time 
will prevent scores of good books from 
being talked about. But if the ordi- 
nary changes of scene and sentiment 
were not enough to kill thousands of 
books the changes created by science 
would do so. When every one can have 
plenty of adventure in cheap and easy 
travel, think and speak in two or three 
languages, see and hear by personal 
experience, much reading can be dis- 
pensed with. Experience will put an 
end to the superfluous in literature. 
When the world opens before the 
masses like a panorama, ever varying, 
and palpitating with vivid scenes and 
pleasant emotions, when millions of 
people can go from one end of the 
globe to another in a few days, pro- 
vincial prejudice will give place to a 
sentiment of broad and cosmopolitan 

Out=of= Doors from Labrador to Africa 


HERE is a collection of five new 
nature-books — animal romances, three 
of them, of wild life as the nature- 
novelist imagines it. The other two 
are books of exploration, observation, 
and camera-hunting — wild life as the 
trained naturalist sees it. The three 
romances trust to their style and pre- 
faces for their interest — falling back 
rather hard upon the preface, it must 
be said, as if somebody had been lying. 
"Truth is stranger than fiction," they 
each begin, "and all the fiction in this 
volume is solemn truth." 

Happily, only conscientious, literal 
people heed prefaces nowadays, so that 

most readers of "Animal Heroes,"* 
"Red Fox,"f and "Northern Trails" $ 
will get the stories untroubled by any 
thought of fact and reality. 

And they are worth getting, for they 
are good stories, all of them — charm- 
ingly told, beautifully illustrated, and 
very unlike — as the artist-author, pro- 
fessor, and preacher are unlike. Yet 
the amazing thing about the three 
romances is their sameness. The dif- 

* " Animal Heroes." By Ernest Thompson Seton. Illus- 
trated by the Author. Scnbners. $2.00. 

t M Red Fox." By Charles G. D. Roberts. Illustrated by 
Charles L. Bull. L. C Page & Co. 75c. 

t" Northern Trails." By William J. Long. Illustrated 
by Charles Copeland. Ginn & Co. fi.50. 


The Critic 

ference is largely one of style, of vocab- 
ulary, I had almost said — the difference 
between "kindreds" and "folk." You 
read the same preface in all; and you 
start off with the same story. In 
"Animal Heroes" it is an old slum cat 
and her kittens in a cracker-box. The 
one extraordinary kitten of "pro- 
nounced color" survives and comes to 
glory. In "Red Fox" it is a pair of 
foxes and their cubs in a hole among 
the hills. The one extraordinary 
cubby, "more finely colored," survives 
and comes to glory. In "Northern 
Trails" it is a pair of wolves and their 
pups in a cave among the rocks. The 
one extraordinary puppy, "larger than 
the others," survives and comes to 
more glory than the cub or the kitten 
of the other tales. 

Of course, there is variety in all of 
these — cats, foxes, wolves — kittens, 
cubs, puppies. It is in the extraordi- 
nary puppy that they are alike. And 
this extraordinary pup has been done 
so many times since the days of "Wild 
Animals I Have Known," that three 
more extraordinary pups (or cubs or 
kittens) one after the other make the 
critic long for a pup that is just ordi- 
nary dog. 

It is only the critic, however, that 
would be likely to read the books one 
after the other, and only he, also, who 
would, perhaps, lament this overworked 
cum laude pup. 

Individually, these books are inter- 
esting. Mr. Seton, in "Animal 
Heroes," is still master, as he is the 
pioneer, in this field. No one has 
matched his "Wild Animals I Have 
Known." "Animal Heroes" is a good 
second; but it suffers, like a younger 
son, by coming later. Mr. Seton has 
invented just one plan for his best 
stories, and it served well in the first 
volume; but this last is the fourth, at 
least, made after the plan, to say noth- 
ing of those by other writers who have 
copied it. That plan should have been 

* Except for the reindeer story, Mr. 
Seton has made certain advances here 
even over his first work. He shows 
greater variety of treatment, more 
flexibility of style, and less strain. He 

is nearer reality because he is here a 
straightaway story-teller, and enjoys 
the freedom. Out of not common- 
place, but certainly very real, material, 
he now writes the capital story of 
" Arnaux." 

Mr. Long is at his best, too, in 
"Northern Trails." The book would 
have been much better without the 
first story — for the plan is not original; 
it is "written down" and it lacks re- 
ality in spite of the author's efforts. 
But as for the rest, even Mr. Bur- 
roughs will find little in the natural 
history to object to, and certainly no 
one can hold out against the story 
interest of the chapters, nor the grace 
and charm of the style. We could 
only wish that Mr. Long did n't 
see quite so much with his own eyes, 
for many of us live the year around 
in the woods, and — well — most of our 
animals must have gone over into Mr. 
Long's woods. The publishers show 
the same lack of taste in over-illustrat- 
ing this book as in Mr. Long's other 
recent volumes. It is a pity, too, for 
Mr. Copeland has excelled himself — 
and most of his rivals — in "Northern 

Mr. Roberts has gone them all one 
better in "Red Fox" — a volume to 
the adventures of this individual ! But 
it is n't a sincere piece of work. Mr. 
Roberts knows the thing cannot be 
done to last over night. There is n't 
enough to a fox; his psychology, his 
interests, his daily round is too limited 
to sustain him throughout a volume. 
The author has tried to meet the lack 
of substance with style. The fox 
makes raids on barnyards in "violet 
sunsets," he fights woodchucks in 
"rose-lit grass " — atmosphere this, pur- 
ple patches, that do not convince, 
but only emphasize the smallness of 
Red Fox and the largeness of the story. 
Not a page of it comes from the woods 
direct. Of the incidents, to quote the 
preface, "there is authentic record of 
them all in accounts of careful observ- 
ers" — of Red Fox playing dead, run- 
ning the sheep's backs, and jumping 
into a cart (the climax of the story) to 
escape the dogs. — these records are in 
our nursery-books. What we have n't 

James McNeill Whistler 


read before we cannot quite believe — 
the bees, for instance, driving Red Fox 
from his fetid den to go into the honey 
business there! But all this we could 
take, for we are boys enough to like 
the fighting (there is a deal of this, 
for there is a fight on every page), 
were it not for the anthropomorphiz- 
ing of the beast — as extreme and 
unreal as the rose-lit treatment of the 

"With Flashlight and Rifle," * by C. 
G. Skillings, we have no romancing at 
all, no imagination, no poetry, no 
purple patches. The author goes into 
the wilds of Africa to shoot and to 
photograph real beasts. The volume 
is the unadorned account of his killings 
— wanton slaughter it often seems — 
and the album for his startling photo- 
graphs. Never has the jungle before 
been so photographed. There is an 

* u With Flashlight and Rifle." By C. G. Skillings. 
Translated by Henry Zick. Harper & Brothers. $2.00. 

uncanny realism about the book, such 
an uncovering of savage forms by the 
flashlight as to make one afraid of his 
own tame dark. 

"Two Bird-Lovers in Mexico,"* by 
C. William Beebe (the second lover is 
Mrs. Beebe), is more real nature — 
Mexican out-of-doors done into a book 
with so simple a style, so genuine an 
enthusiasm, and illustrated with such 
excellent photographs, that it is bound 
to take a host of other bird-lovers, and 
lovers of travel into the mesquite wilder- 
ness and about the magic pools of 
Mexico — where, in the dead of winter, 
one lives a wild, free life in camp ! and 
"feels how good a thing it is to be 
alive, to be hungry and to eat, to be 
weary and to sleep." The lovers have 
a honeymoon of a time. They have 
made one of the most delightful of 

*"Two Bird-Lovers in Mexico. 
Houghton, Mifflin, & Co. $3.00. 

By C William Beebe. 

The Beginnings of James McNeill Whistler 


To The Critic for September, 1903, 
Mr. Bloor contributed an article on 
Whistler's boyhood, which derived a 
special interest from the inclusion of a 
number of letters written by the artist 
when a lad. Since then Whistler's 
fame has been both tested and in- 
creased by the exhibition in London 
of a collection of his works under the 
auspices of the International Society 
of Artists, of which he was the Presi- 
dent — an event that drew thousands 
of art lovers to the New Gallery in 
Regent Street; and interest in his 
genius has been augmented by the an- 
nouncement that to the Smithsonian 
Institution in Washington Mr. Charles 
L. Freer, of Detroit, has given his 
remarkable collection of works of art, 

which is particularly rich in Whistlers, 
and includes the decorations of the 
famous "peacock room" from Mr. 
Leyland's house in London — a collec- 
tion hereafter to be seen in a building 
to be erected in Washington at Mr. 
Freer's expense. 

The following letter from Whistler 
to his mother bears {more suo) neither 
date nor place of writing; but as his 
visit to Venice lasted from September, 
1879, to November, 1880, it must have 
been written toward the close of the 
latter year: 

My own dearest Mother ; I have been so 
grieved to hear of your being ill again — and now I 
am delighted to hear better news of you. Do not 


The Critic 

let any anxiety for me at all interfere with your 
rapidly getting quite well — for I am happy to tell 
you that my own health is capital and the weather 
alone in all its uncertainties retards my work — 
which, however, is now very nearly complete — so 
that I look forward to being with you soon. It has 
been wofully cold here. The bitterest winter I 
fancy that I ever experienced, and the people of 
Venice say that nothing of the kind has been known 
for quite a century. Mrs. Bronson was telling me 
— by the way you will be pleased to hear that they 
have returned from their wanderings, and are now 
settled in their palace on the Grand Canal — well, she 
told me that since it was known that she was here, 
her many pensioners have called to welcome her 
back, and all said to her the same thing : 

" Look, Signora," they said, pointing to their 
white hair, "look, I am old, and yet I have never 
seen such a winter, and I only wonder that I have 
lived through it to tell the Signora ! " 

At last the ice and snow have left us, and now 
the rain is pouring down upon us. To-day re- 
minds me of our stay long ago at Black Gang 
Chyne ! After all, though, this evening the 
weather softened slightly, and perhaps to-morrow 
may be fine — and then Venice will be simply glori- 
ous, as now and then I have seen it. After the 
wet, the colors upon the walls and their reflections 
in the canals are more gorgeous than ever, and 
with sun shining upon the polished marble min- 
gled with rich-toned bricks and plaster, this amaz- 
ing city of palaces becomes really a fairyland, — 
created, one would think, especially for the painter. 
The people with their gay gowns and handkerchiefs, 
and the many tinted buildings for them to lounge 
against or pose before, seem to exist especially for 
one's pictures — and to have no other reason for 
being ! One could certainly spend years here and 
never lose the freshness that pervades the place ! 

But I must come back to you all now, though, 
even if I return afterwards. Yes, I hope now in a 
couple of weeks or so to pack all my work and see 
how the long-hoped-for etchings will look in Lon- 
don. Also you know, ror I daresay Nellie has told 
you, that I have fifty pastels ! So you see, Mother 
dear, that I have not been idle — though I have 
found my labors terribly trying. It will be pleas- 
ant to talk them all over with you when I come 
back. I shall have plenty to tell you of all the 
beautiful things I have seen, and I hope you will 
like some of the pastels I have done — Nellie must 
tell you about them. They are much admired here 
— and I think rather well of them myself — though 
sometimes I get a little despondent. 

My kind friend, Mr. Graham [Lorimer Graham, 
probably], whom you remember my writing to you 
about, has been away for some weeks in Rome — 
returning only the other day. I was glad to see 

him, for he had been most courteous and persistent 
in his good services to me. He brought Mr. Bron- 
son with him a couple of mornings ago, and very 
jolly was our meeting, for I always liked him — he is 
most original and amusing. I have dined at the 
Bronsons since, and they are most amiable and nice. 
Mrs. Bronson, who is the most generous woman 
possible, has been so kind to a poor gondolier I was 
painting, and who fell ill with dreadful cough and 
fever. I told her all about him, and she at once 
had all sorts of nice things made for him, and Miss 
Chapman, who is staying with the Bronsons, has 
been herself to call on poor Giovanni. He is get- 
ting well now I hope, and will soon be able again 
to pose for his picture. Mrs. Harris, the wife of 
the American Consul, has been very charming — 
always asking me to her house and presenting me 
to all her best acquaintances. She is a dear old 
lady, and I know you would like her. So you see 
I have not been without friends, Mother, and, not- 
withstanding the fearful climate, not absolutely 
forlorn and cheerless. I am so glad to hear that 
everything is happily arranged for Annie's future — 
give my love and congratulations to her when you 
see her, or send them through Sis. And now good- 
bye, my darling Mother — I do hope you will be 
quite well and strong again directly now — for I 
hear accounts from England saying that the sun is 
shining upon all there, and that everything is warm 
and delightful ! You asked once about Susie Liver- 
more's etchings — doubtless she has had them all 
before now — for they were left out purposely for 
her — ready in their frames. I received your nice 
Christmas card, mama dear, and meant to have 
written at once to tell you how gratified I was — but 
it is the same old story, my dear Mother. 1 am at 
my work the first thing at dawn and the last thing 
at night, and loving you all the while though not 
writing to tell you. Remember me to Mrs. [illegi- 
ble], and give my love to all. ■ 

Your fond son, 


This letter, written at forty-six 
years of age, may serve as an intro- 
duction to the completely developed 
man Whistler, and to some estimate 
of that man's work of brush, burin, 
chalk, and pen — with reference to the 
ethics of art procedure and its relations 
to human brotherhood and higher civil- 
ization. This may perhaps be done 
without trenching on the ground 
claimed as his own by the real or sup- 
posed or merely soi-disant critic, whose 
only or main interest in an artist is so 
often confined to the latter's relations 
to the technique of art. Such critics 

James McNeill Whistler 


do not include an artist's literary work 
in their summaries of his output, and 
Whistler himself professed the same 
scorn for literary quality in art as he 
did for the schools. Yet no artist ever 
owed as much to his own literary 
faculty — naturally one of real though 
elusive distinction — as Whistler. The 
letter to his mother, given above, how- 
ever punctuationless, shows him at his 
best ; but his pen was almost invariably 
either venomous or inconsequent. The 
epigrams he so carefully prepared for 
use at the first subsequent opportunity 
were sometimes sufficiently bright, 
even witty, as, for instance, when 
pointing to one of Leighton's pieces 
among a crowd of others on exhibition, 
he likens it to "a diamond in the sty' 
— and when, in the case of a worthy 
but somewhat strait-laced Academi- 
cian's objection to a certain nude, he 
paraphrased the motto of the order of 
the Garter and the English Arms into 
" Horsley soit qui mal y pense." 

His own pen did as much for his 
position in the world of art as his 
brush, and not even the most indus- 
trious, jewel-losing actress, more care- 
fully, if with apparent unconsciousness, 
cultivated the personal eccentricities 
which excite the pens of others — of 
journalistic and sensation-hunting on- 
lookers — to the comment and gossip 
that make for the notoriety of their 

But if some geniality or wisdom 
occasionally lurks in his jenx d' esprit 
they are much more often charged with 
revenge or detraction and filled, even 
if he were not always conscious of it, 
with the unscrupulousness of the ego- 
maniac ; nor does all his persiflage and 
thin pretence of courtesy hide their 
frequent brutality. It is, indeed, quite 
questionable whether the art-world of 
the future will not charge him with 
having brought more suspicion on art 
and really wrought more evil to it by 
his tongue and pen than he has achieved 
good for it by pencil and needle. 

Whistler seems, in fact, all through 
his adult life, to have deserved the 
picture drawn of him under the name 
of Joe Sibley by his early confrere, du 
Maurier, in his first edition of "Trilby." 

"He was a monotheist, and had but 
one god. Sibley was the god of Joe's 
worship and none other; and he would 
hear of no other genius in the world ! " 
No amount of adulation from follower 
or admirer was too much for him, but 
one whisper of criticism, the slightest 
thwarting of his selfish demands, or 
questioning of his inordinate claim of 
originality turned him into an implac- 
able foe. So Swinburne, who had so 
warmly and so usefully taken him up 
— this poet of front rank, for telling 
the truth, that Reynolds had long be- 
fore said what Whistler repeated in 
his "Ten O'Clock," — Swinburne be- 
came "one Algernon Swinburne" and 
an "outsider of Putney." He remained 
"friends" with his successive acquaint- 
ance only so long as he was not yet 
prepared to "shake" them for fresh 
victims to his self-worship, and one is 
tempted to believe that his unscrupu- 
lous jocularity toward others, while 
utterly refusing to take a joke on him- 
self, was sometimes deliberately resorted 
to for the purpose of provoking a quar- 
rel and so disrupting hitherto good 

Not long after the beginning of his 
professional success he rewarded Ley- 
land (of the Peacock Room), his lavish 
patron and promoter, with whom he 
had, of course, finally picked a quarrel, 
by depicting him, life-size, as the devil 
with his hoofs and horns. Ingratitude 
and contumely to those who had most 
served him became finally his habit. 

There are, however, few vices — some 
moralists say there are none — which 
do not have their root in a norm of 
good. Channing, from his pure point 
of view, necessarily thought Napoleon 
a very bad man. But, doubtless recog- 
nizing that he was a consummate ad- 
ministrator as well as a self-seeking and 
merciless warrior, the critic says that 
the destroyer of kings and maker of 
empires "extorts admiration." And 
one feels that, in a world of greater or 
lesser Philistines, the exceptional artist 
who preserves an utter independence 
ought to have much to his credit, even 
if he makes a most objectionable cari- 
cature of his role. 

The last enemy of all flesh Whistler 


The Critic 

met — outwardly, at least — with the 
characteristic jauntiness displayed to 
all his previous foes, the making of 
which he declared — did he say it sin- 
cerely, or simply in defiance? — was his 
"only joy." But he returned to his 
old Chelsea haunts from the continent 
well realizing, doubtless, that it was to 
die, notwithstanding that his last letter 
from The Hague to one of the London 
newspapers, charged with his habitual 
mock politeness and subtle insolence, 
but really calling it to task for publish- 
ing a premature report of his death, 
was meant to convey the impression to 
the world that much more work might 
be expected from him. Then, straight- 
way he delivers his characteristic death- 
bed injunctions for the puzzling and 
baffling, even beyond the grave, of not 
alone the public, but those few who 
still cling to him as friends. We must 
certainly admire the pluck in such a 
course, even if we don't admire other 
elements that led to it. 

So, too, though the peculiar nomen- 
clature he adopted for the output of 
his brush and needle inevitably, in its 
novelty, excited ridicule and censure, 
and was surely adopted, just as his 
hirsutial oriflamme was carefully culti- 
vated, mainly as an advertisement to 
attract the custom of the hunter after 
art-novelties and art-bargains, even as 
his wand and flat-brimmed hat were 
assumed to mark him out to "the man 
in the street," there is no little to be 
said in favor of such nomenclature by 
those who recognize the sisterhood of 
the various fine arts. Whistler's early 
days, as we have seen, were passed in 
an atmosphere of music, and apart from 
the masterful craving of erratic genius 
for novelty, and his appreciation, on 
reaching manhood and looking forth 
on the world, of the value of new pro- 
cesses in systematic self-advertising, it 
was therefore not unnatural that he 
should use musical terminology in giv- 
ing titles to the output of his work in 
graphic art. Why should he not speak 
of that work as symphonies or har- 
monies in white, in green, in blue, in 
gray, or what not? Why should the 
word "arrangement" be confined to 
musical notes? Is not what is perhaps 

his masterpiece, his mother's portrait, 
really and truly, as children say, an 
"arrangement" in black and gray? 

Some one has said that Whistler first 
disclosed the poetry in a London fog, 
which is hardly true, even of the Occi- 
dental field of art, for Cazin and Turner, 
to say nothing of preceding painters, 
did the like, while the rain and mist 
effects are admirable in some of the 
high - class Japanese output, which 
much influenced Whistler, generally, 
but not invariably, for good. But 
some of Whistler's night-effects cer- 
tainly originated in the main with him- 
self, though he may have received 
some hint therefor from "The Milky 
Way" of his favorite master Tintoretto. 
Why, then, should not his exquisite 
renderings, in dry point, of night- 
effects, be named, one a "Nocturne in 
Blue and Silver," another a "Nocturne 
in Black and Gold," even at the risk of 
contributing to offend Ruskin? — that 
inspired man, who, though he perhaps 
never visited the Cremorne Gardens at 
night, and is to be read not at all for 
the guidance of the tyro in art- 
technique (in defining which he makes 
frequent mistakes, often foolish and 
sometimes grotesque), will ever stand, 
facile princcps, among those who have 
led the Anglo-Saxon world to fruitful 
communion with the spirit of art. For 
Ruskin, whatever his shortcomings or 
his over-statements where art appliance 
in the concrete is concerned, did more 
to induce, among our not over-sensitive 
English-speaking race throughout the 
globe, a respect for the graphic and 
plastic fine arts than any other man in 
the annals of that race; just as Prince 
Albert, by his initiatory World's Ex- 
position, did more for art-application 
in the Occidental world, and for art- 
interchange among all races, than any 
other man. It was his Crystal Palace 
Exhibition of 1851 that really disclosed 
Oriental art to the whole Western 
world, though a century and a half 
before, in one corner of it, Louis XIV. 
had, in his latter years, tried to set the 
fashion to his court for Japanese 
bronzes and lacquers, and, in another, 
Sir William Chambers had published, 
later in the eighteenth century, his 

James McNeill Whistler 


opinion that Chinese architecture, 
originating in the tent form, might 
advantageously be utilized in rural 
holdings. (Which reminds me that I 
once heard General Sherman, at an 
architectural dinner, give it as his 
opinion that tent life was much more 
wholesome than house life. And army 
surgeons unite in preferring tent hospi- 
tals to any other kind.) 

The fact that certain terms have 
hitherto been held specific for only the 
tonal field of the fine arts, seems no 
sufficient reason why their aptness 
should not be extended to other fields. 
If Whistler were not so insistent in the 
expression of his contempt for any 
variety of his art outside of his own 
rendering of it, one might be inclined 
to give him credit for adopting this 
musical nomenclature — for forging this 
link, visible even to the generally half- 
blind multitude, between those two of 
the fine arts most in evidence before 
them. For a general comprehension 
of the indubitable fact that all the fine 
arts have in reality one source of in- 
spiration, and one spring of action, 
would go far toward the better under- 
standing and the better treatment of all 
those arts, and of all their professors, 
by the art-loving public— and, indeed, 
by the masses, —and thus toward the 
surer well-being of the art-executant, 
and the advancement of a finer civiliza- 
tion than that of the present. " Etenim 
omnes artes quce ad humtinitatem perti- 
nent, Jiabent quoddam commune vincu- 
lum, et quasi cognatione quddam inter 
se continentur," Cicero said two thou- 
sand years ago, and with every fresh 
manifestation of civilization this truth 
has "become more apparent. 

Catalogues and chronological tables 
of the not meagre professional output, 
though mainly etchings, of Whistler 
have long since been given to the 
artistic public by Thomas, Wedmore, 
and others, as also have all sorts of 
criticism on it, running through the 
gamut, customary where real original- 
ity appears, of arrested observation, 
incredulity, misapprehension, ridicule, 
defence, the championship and detrac- 
tion of opposing partisans, and, in due 
sequence, the cumulative admiration 

which ends in the general adoption of 
a new master and, unfortunately in the 
end for art, in a non-judicial attitude 
on the part of his disciples, impelling 
them to ascribe the same value to all 
that comes or has come from his hand, 
good, bad, or indifferent, and the worst 
with the best. Ruskin might better, 
perhaps, have not taken a leaf from 
Whistler's own well-thumbed book of 
contempt and invective when charac- 
terizing a special output of the latter 
in black and gold, and may himself 
have been far from his best mood for 
appreciation as to the picture's intrinsic 
merits; but he was entirely justified in 
his non-acceptance of an artist's egotis- 
tical assumption that all his work is 
equally worthy, — though, indeed, the 
claim is in most instances made by his 
enthusiastic but not always sagacious 
followers rather than by himself — 
whereas some temporary eclipse of his 
creative power may have resulted in a 
really inferior example. 

Here are some early judgments of 
critics controlling journalistic or other 
serial art columns. Whistler is a mere 
amateur prodige. " " Whistler is emi- 
nently" (another says "uncompromis- 
ingly ") "vulgar." Another: he is 
* * full of foppish airs and affectations." 
The same man who was subsequently 
to "stand up" with him at his wed- 
ding, Labouchere, in his Truth, char- 
acterizes one of his exhibitions as 
"another crop of Whistler's little 
jokes"; and the Attorney-General, in 
the Ruskin-Whistler libel suit, obvi- 
ously agreed with "Labby" when he 
announced that the plaintiff had largely 
"increased the gaiety" of at least one 
nation. The Daily TelegrapJi> how- 
ever, put its finger on what Whistler 
was undoubtedly frequently guilty of 
(like so many others, particularly of 
the so-called impressionist school), 
when it warned him not to "attempt 
to palm off his deficiencies as manifes- 
tations of power" — which was merely 
another way of putting a previous 
critic's statement that "He is really 
building up art out of his own imper- 
fections." And that is certainly what 
not a few artists try to do, though it is 
the part of charity — which Bacon says 


The Critic 

we can never have in excess — to sup- 
pose that they don't themselves realize 

Such contemptuous criticisms as the 
few I have adduced from the multitude 
were so frequently expressed, and in 
such similar terms, that one can't help 
recognizing that habit of "follow my 
leader," from which only the saving 
remnant of the literary cliques (so ab- 
horred of Mazzini) and, perhaps not 
least, the art-literary cliques of what- 
ever passing day, seem readily to 
emerge. But all the same had not 
Bume-Jones considerable grounds for 
his opinion that Whistler carefully 
evaded the difficulties of painting be- 
cause of a temperament not sufficiently 
robust and insistent for a habit of over- 
coming them? The Frenchman Anque- 
tin, whose reputation as an authority 
in technique is, I believe, acknow- 
ledged in the art-world to be among 
the highest, accuses him of the same 
thing, and is still more severe in his 
judgment, classing him among ex- 
tremely clever tricksters and jugglers 
(" escamoteurs"). He it is also, if my 
memory serves me, who characterizes 
much of Whistler's output as fragile, 
slight, and evanescent. 

In these latter days the critical tune 
is quite changed, though the old game 
of "follow my leader" is just as much 
played as in the inappreciative, fault- 
finding days. Here, selected from 
many others, is a recent Rhadaman- 
thian utterance— an American one — 
and a good type of what for a few 
years past, and particularly since our 
artist's death, it has been "the thing" 
to say: 

Mr. Whistler has long since demonstrated his 
right to leadership, his superiority being quite un- 
questioned. . . . Since Rembrandt, no one 
has succeeded quite so well as Whistler in making 
the stroke tell for so much, in securing, by the 
artistic arrangement of light and shade, splendid 
results, and in suggesting in every way picturesque 
compositions. [Whistler's own brother-in-law, 
Haden, long ago compared him to the same prodigy 
in Dutch art.] All is assuredly the work of a mas- 
ter, of a man grandly endowed, sensitive to all the 
possibilities of the needle on copper. His lightest 
touch is full of genius, and he performs the seem- 
ingly impossible with this limited medium. Whether 

in the figure or landscape, in marine or architecture, 
these etchings seem to have been just the proper 
means of expression, suiting the man's tempera- 
ment exactly. 

The present writer would like, in 
view of this laudation, to hint, for the 
benefit of the architectural student, 
that albeit architecture (that is, on its 
merely structural, not on its high art 
level — though in Venice, one of our 
artist's stamping-grounds, most build- 
ings may be classed as art-architecture) 
is much in evidence as one of Whist- 
ler's vehicles, and fits admirably into 
his often superfine methods and dream- 
like effects, the tyro in that art will 
gain very much more instruction, and 
not seldom more inspiration, from 
Prout's unsurpassed renderings of 
architectural exterior than from Whist- 
ler's. Necessarily so, because Prout's 
outcome is meant to be nothing else 
than a rendering of selected architec- 
ture, the selections, of course, being 
based on an appreciation of their value 
as architecture j^r se ; while Whistler's 
inclusions, as adjuncts to his portrayal 
of examples of the building art, mainly 
occur when they happen to be present 
in those general collocations of fore- 
greater degree than Whistler's, they 
are apt to include more of non-archi- 
tectural accessories than are Prout's. 

But to return to Whistler's critics, 
our present-day one — he is speaking of 
a Whistler collection of etchings and 
dry points — adds: "It is all very en- 
trancing and is worth not one but 
many visits to look at leisurely in the 
ground, middle distance, and back- 
ground, of water and atmosphere, of 
twilight, moonlight, darkness, which 
best afford the master an opportunity 
to depict physical facts as they appeal 
to his very sensitive and alert organ- 
ization, and his rare temperament. 
Piranesi's masterly, if somewhat coarse, 
etchings of Roman architectural re- 
mains, as they appeared about a century 
and a half ago, may also be classed 
among good studies for the acquire- 
ment of proficiency in portraying exist- 
ing results of the building art, though 
with some reservation; for, though 
specifically architectural in much 

James McNeill Whistler 


true spirit, reverently, and to come 
away full of the joy of having seen, if 
not of absolute possession." 

Surely, however, neither indiscrimi- 
nate censoriousness nor hysterical laud- 
ation should induce us to support the 

pigments he lays on his canvas. We 
have, indeed, his own word for it that 
a so-called picture from his hand, acci- 
dentally placed on the wall in an ex- 
hibition of some of his finished output 
— a simple study, or rather, in fact, a 


fallacy that because Whistler deserves, 
by reason of his best work, the rank 
finally accorded him in France, where, 
more than elsewhere, the chiefs of 
graphic and plastic art speak with 
authority, it follows that his worst 
work — done perhaps with his powers 
at low ebb, or in self-indulgent, happy- 
go-lucky mood — may not be as value- 
less, per se, and apart from the market 
value of his mere name, as the average 
work of the tyro or of the disappointed 
senior, who cannot, being destitute of 
the vivida vis animi, work it, along 
with his conscientiousness, into the 

mere memorandum — was "not worth 
the canvas it was painted on," though 
he caught two of his indiscriminating 
followers raving over it. This self- 
depreciatory dictum of our artist seems 
quite at variance with his other oracle 
that "the master's work is finished 
with the first stroke of his brush on 
the canvas"; but the difference is more 
apparent than real, for some artists of 
a certain temperament do not lay 
hands on their implements — brush, 
pen, chisel, burin, or what not — till 
their impending deliverance is so thor- 
oughly formulated in their own brain 


The Critic 

that their work is, to their own percep- hand, for the diminutive proportions 

tion, finished. Moreover, such an un- of the ordinary palette by no means 

usual note of humility reminds us of suited our artist's conception of his 

the little colloquy between Whistler, surpassing endowments — did he not, in 


as teacher, and his class of devout 
students. Question: "Do you know 
what I mean when I say tone, value, 
light and shade, quality, movement, 
construction, etc.?" Pious Answer in 
chorus: "Oh, yes! Mr. Whistler." 
Cynical — but may we opine semi-truth- 
ful ? — Rejoinder : "I 'm glad, for it 's 
more than I do myself." 

In short, did Whistler seriously be- 
lieve that he was the demigod in graphic 
art his nimble tongue and his facile 
pen, as an almost constant rule, pro- 
claimed? Did he not, palette in hand 
— or, I should say, table under his 

fact, play a long game of bluff rather 
to secure incense for the man Whistler 
than appreciation worth earning for 
the artist? He knew, of course, that 
the early Christians among the gentiles 
adopted the butterfly as an emblem of 
immortality; but did not the same 
symbol secretly commend itself to his 
acute fancy as representative of the 
combined quickness, grace, and irre- 
sponsibility he recognized in himself, 
and as something as far as possible 
removed from the "heavy weight" 
qualities rightly demanded by the 
world in its leaders, and in which he 

James McNeill Whistler 

recognized himself as lacking? This, 
of course, is rank heresy to his dis- 
ciples, but the independent observer 
and analyzer need trouble himself but 
little with those to whom Whistler is 
the only painter and etcher, and the 
one original at all points. For in- 
stance, they quote, as something the 
like of which was never heard before, 
his remark at the Eden trial to the pre- 
siding judge who thought his charge 
of a thousand guineas for a portrait an 
excessive one: "It is true, I painted 

It was substantially what most profes- 
sional men, before attaining the emi- 
nence which commands the employ- 
ment before-time anxiously awaited — 
or indirectly, sometimes directly, so- 
licited, or fished for with more or less 
pulling of secret wires — have every now 
and then, under the law of self-preser- 
vation, or the sentiment of self-respect, 
had to say or to hint to their pay- 
masters. Even the lawyer who pro- 
tects the layman's property-interests, 
or the physician or surgeon who pro- 


that portrait in two sittings; but I did 
so with the experience of my whole 
life." That was a good retort, because 
it was true and was entirely apt to the 
occasion, unlike many of the speaker's 
jeux cT esprit. 

But it was not in the least original. 

tects his health and life, have occasion 
to resort to it when encountering an 
ignorant or stingy client or patient. 
How much more the laborer in any 
field of art, whose output, from the 
Philistinistic point of view, is mere 
play and self-indulgence, not solid, 


The Critic 

marketable product. One recalls the 
hint Rubens gave his imperial patron 
— his picture of the monarch's hand 
shaking an empty purse over the artist's 
outstretched palm. I have many times 

product from the question of time 
expended and money invested in it. 

If one agrees that any masterly re- 
production in art of objects or condi- 
tions in nature worthy of selection and 





\ \A"*T"^^ v 

r : ^*!tk/ir' 

(From the first drawing made by Whistler) 

had occasion to note the substance of 
Whistler's retort from the lips or pen 
of the architect. It is, in fact, difficult 
for the often but superficially cultured 
man, who has achieved pecuniary suc- 
cess in the channels of trade or manu- 
facture, to separate the value of any 

permanent record and rangement is 
entitled to its proper, if almost in- 
finitesimal, share of the reverence due 
to the Supreme Designer and Creator 
of the gift of expression, as of all other 
gifts, and if one, being of much obser- 
vation and long memory, contrasts the 

James McNeill Whistler 


slowly cumulating consensus of lauda- 
tory opinion, culminating in this 
sentiment of reverence, with earlier 
inappreciation, non-recognition, dis- 
paragement, neglect, and privation, 
one can hardly fail to make much 
allowance for the external souring of a 
nature that has been the object of such 
contrary estimate, while all along, or 
at least quite soon, the possessor of 
the gift must have been conscious of 
his own value, and probably at no time 
disposed to underrate himself or it. 
Inopportune conditions of earlier man- 
hood, unfortunately too common with 
the practitioners of any of the fine 
arts, were doubtless, too, in Whistler's 
case, intensified to his highstrung 
organization by his memories of the 
well-sheltered boyhood, disclosed in 
my extracts from his mother's journal, 
and by some contact, more or less 
close, but everything being seen 
through very sharp young eyes, with 
court life. One is, therefore, much 
inclined to take a quite indulgent view 
of his course. Yet in the interest of 
art itself and of that future and higher 
civilization toward which art, with its 
all-illumining and unquenchable torch, 
leads, at the same time that it beauti- 
fies, the way, it may be quite necessary 
for some one to attempt to indicate the 
injury which accrues to the progress of 
civilization from the shortcomings and 
mistakes of the professors of art. It 
is my belief that Whistler should be 
presented to the rising generation of 
artists who adopt graphic rendering as 
their specialty, not only as a shining 
example, but as a warning. 

It is^quite true that the man of 
genius, before it is recognized by the 
multitude, is often impelled, through 
the mere instinct of self-preservation, 
to become more or less of a recluse; 
but if his social instincts be strong, or 
if circumstances compel him to mix 
much and continuously with average 
or inferior men, he is apt to wear some 
sort of armor, or at least a slight mask, 
but not infrequently his panoply of 
protection and defence takes the form 
of irony and his mask of persiflage or 
buffoonery. When, however, through 
the medium of the competent critic — 

of course, as in the case of all other 
vocations, the opinion of most profes- 
sional critics is accepted as final only 
by the masses of onlookers — when 
through the competent art critic (some- 
times, indeed, mainly through the 
competent art dealer), the artist has 
gained his rightful reputation, the ex- 
cuse for flamboyant and spectacular 
self-advertisement no longer exists. 
But what is to be said in the case of 
the artist who, after being recognized 
at his top-level, objects to being, as a 
colorist, classed on the lower level 
which is all his inordinate self-apprecia- 
tion, or his game of bluff, assigns to 
Velasquez, and who doubtless also re- 
garded himself, as a limner and etcher, 
superior to Rembrandt? — of the aitist 
who, among a gallery hung with pic- 
tures of the Royal Academicians, likens 
one painting by Leighton to "a dia- 
mond in the sty," which compliment, 
paid only because it affords opportunity 
for wholesale detraction of all the other 
artists represented, does not prevent 
his jealous, sour sneer, "Paints too, I 
believe," after hearing a eulogy on 
Leighton's versatility and rare accom- 
plishments? How must those who 
think that ethics as well as art have 
their place in the world, characterize 
his treatment of Leyland in the matter 
of the peacock room? What is to be 
said of the one-sided, sharp-bargaining 
egoist who, in his diamond-cut-diamond 
duel with Sir William Eden, lauds his 
own "thoughtless kind feeling and ex- 
quisite taste," and tells him it is "im- 
possible" for himself, Whistler, to 
"write a rude letter," just as if the 
grossest rudeness may not be varnished 
with extreme politeness? " Grattez le 
baronnct" he says, " et vous trouverez 
le boutiquicr." But it is as plain as 
noonday that the animus leading to 
the suit (which, luckily for Whistler, 
was determined in France) was, on the 
Butterfly's side at least as much as on 
the Baronet's, the merest "tradesman's 
and huckster's" attempt to get as 
much as possible for as little as pos- 
sible — "something for nothing." 
What is to be said of his refusal in 
several instances, after being paid his 
own price in advance, to give up to 


The Critic 

their owners the portraits of them he 
had finished to his own satisfaction? 
His unreasoning apologists attribute 
such practice to "supreme devotion to 
his art." Those who regard the 
golden rule as the paramount one for 
the conduct of life view it as the fruit 
of a self-worship that did not halt at — 
however he may have deluded or com- 
promised with his conscience — sheer 
dishonesty, and as a direct blow at the 
fair repute and good name of artists — 
the confraternity to which, as a mem- 
ber thereof, he owed something — in the 
lay community that sustains them. 

Whistler's sign manual, the butter- 
fly, may have commended itself to the 
self-gauging artist no less than to the 
early Christians, as an emblem of 
the immortality he deemed, or pre- 
tended to deem, his due — of the glori- 
ous ascent from the tomb that ended 
an ignoble period of crawling on the 
earth's surface. But perhaps also, feel- 
ing the need of a mask, yet realizing 


that even the lightest would be too 
rigid and burdensome for his mobile 
features, he adopted, in preference, an 
airy, graceful, gay-hued go-between, 
whose light-winged flutterings should 

ward off the annoyance of the too- 
familiar gaze of the exoteric multitude 
from his own superfine lineaments. 
He waxes wroth that Ruskin should be 
"undismayed by the presence of the 
Masters with whose names he is sacri- 
legiously familiar." Mirabile visu! 
The impious self-seeker Ruskin pil- 
loried by the saintly altruist Whistler! 
And what are all the other masters in 
comparison with the superior of Velas- 
quez? Is he not the man who, like the 
royal critic of Spain, feels sure that if 
he had had the making of the world 
he would have put together a much 
better one than the Lord did? Is not 
he, Whistler, the last and greatest of 
the masters, who, while condescend- 
ingly allowing that "God is always 
good," thinks Him "sometimes care- 
less," and that the Nature on which 
He has placed His stamp is "usually 
wrong"; that it gives only "slovenly 
suggestions," that it "seldom succeeds 
in producing a picture," and that "un- 
limited admiration is given to very 
foolish sunsets"? Every thinking per- 
son realizes that the Creator has en- 
dowed His chief work with faculties for 
discrimination, selection, alteration in 
dealing with Nature's output, and 
every designer of partly factitious land- 
scape knows that insignificant details 
— as compared with the masses in 
Nature's layout — of terrene structure 
and of vegetation may be advanta- 
geously handled for the attainment of 
some desired specific effect. But our 
meek Whistler thinks nothing of 
arraigning the Almighty for not trim- 
ming and posing the last detail for the 
artist's immediate behoof in front of 
his canvas, and for making his sunsets 
so resplendent and luminous that all 
Whistler's pigments and deftness of 
finger fall immeasurably short of the 
glorified tints and subtle blendings so 
foolishly spread over the western sky. 
But, after all, he is not wholly pessi- 
mistic as regards the future of Nature. 
He admits that she may improve and 
perhaps "creep up to" himself. 

Before leaving the butterfly mark, 
one need hardly be accused of an un- 
balanced imagination if one connects 
its varieties" of expression, on the 

James McNeill Whistler 


artist's etchings, with the varying 
moods of a highly sensitive tempera- 
ment. The delicate lines, diminutive 
as is the space allowed them, are as 
full of varying expressions as are the 
curves and incisions of a tiny Japanese 
carving in ivory. Generally a human 
grin is traceable in the few strokes 
on its central white background, and 
this is intensified when the butterfly's 
chevelure-like wings are dark and well 
defined. Sometimes there is a sugges- 
tion of the nude human body with 
limbs of wire. It was probably in 
pessimistic moods that the insect 
was given a forked proboscis or a 
forked tail, and, in a specially veno- 
mous access of feeling, two forked 
tails. In one instance the forked 
tail is curled far above the head 
and stretches beyond an astral 
nebula. In such a sphere the ar- 
tist's fancy had doubtless often 
disported itself. In at least one 
of the river-etchings the butterfly 
looks like a human head submerged 
to the lips and still sinking. In ' ' The 
Baronet and the Butterfly" — as com- 
plete an example, probably, of self- 
glorification, studied insolence, and 
special pleading, as is extant, even in 
the autobiographical inscriptions of 
Egyptian or Assyrian sovereigns — the 
far-soaring insect has hitched itself, 
like Emerson's wagon, to a star, and, 
overpassing the flood and the com- 
mercial features squat on its brink, as- 
cends, li rayonnant de gloire" through 
the clouds, ad astra. The butterfly 
signature to Whistler's resume of the 
legal findings in this cause celcbre of a 
lady's outpainted portrait in brown and 
gold is evidently meant for himself, 
winged and fork-tailed, capering in a 
closing dance of triumph, after some 
prefatory high-kicking, as displayed on 
the title-page. 

It is worth mentioning that the but- 
terfly emblem, which some say had its 
origin as a free paraphrase of the 
artist's monogram, was not used by 
the artist in his first etchings, the 
Thames series, of the early sixties. 
After the publication of that series 
there was an intermission of a good 

many years before he returned to the 
dry point and needle. This he did at 
the instigation of Mr. Avery, on the 


latter showing him the collection he 
had gathered (much more complete 
than that possessed by the artist him- 
self), some time in the late seventies or 
early eighties. It was only then that 
he adopted the butterfly signature, 
trademark, or " marginal remark," 
whichever he may have preferred to 
have it considered; though, if the 
first, it is often a pleonasm alongside 
of his manuscript signature; if the 
second it is surely infra dig. for one 
"chosen of the gods" to stand behind 
a bargain counter; and if the last it 
is as surely violative of his own dictum 
that "marginal remarks are odious." 
However that may be, the butterfly 
became finally his recognized signa- 
ture, on bank cheque no less than on 

XTbe Critic's (fallen? of Hmerican But. 1Flo, 12 

From a painting by Edmund C. Tarbell 

1 3 6 

Edmund C. Tarbell 

Edmund C. Tarbell creates in his 
paintings a nucleus of objects and 
thoughts so fused that through the 
aspect of the visible the spectator 
comes to feel the sentiment of the in- 
tangible. The artist's grasp of such a 
combination, the result of felicitous 
selection and presentation, has reached 
its highest level in his most recent 
production, the "Girl Crocheting." 
Before the first exhibition of the can- 
vas Mr. Tarbell held his reputation 
chiefly through his interest in open-air 
studies of landscapes and figure com- 
positions. However, with this last 
effort, in treating a room and its occu- 
pant, he has turned towards a new 
field, one that recalls the Dutch indoor 
scenes of women about their house- 
hold duties, so typical of Terborch 
and the men of his class. In the pres- 
ent instance a girl, wearing a conven- 
tional modern shirtwaist and skirt, sits 
tranquilly beside a mahogany table, 
where she bends over her crocheting in 
silent absorption. The light, from the 
window behind her, falls softly upon 
her hair and back, upon the rough sur- 
face of the wall, across a copy of a 
Velasquez, and some Japanese prints 
that fade into the mellow shadows, 
and over the highly polished table-top. 
The attitude of the figure remains both 
natural and realistic. The room cer- 
tainly displays nothing uncommon. It 
should be a matter of comparative ease 
for Mr. Tarbell, with his thorough 
technical training and original sense of 
beauty, to create, by an anecdotal cate- 
gory of details, a simple likeness of 
such an unsophisticated young woman, 
and such frank surroundings. His un- 
usual qualities, in this case, lie in a 
capacity to associate with the forms at 
his command thoughts and feelings 
that are tranquil. For, by means of 
his insight into the possibilities of 
warm, modified lights, and by means 
of his ability to deal with semi-opaque 
shadows and reflected color he has in- 
filtrated hum drum, every-day situ- 
ation with a poetical atmosphere 
strangely devoid of the usual accom- 
panying mystery. Perhaps much of 

the charm of his search for the thought 
in unaffected objects may be credited 
to his apparent dislike of over-subtile 
but always-to-be-discovered tricks, em- 
ployed to reveal dexterity on the part 
of the artist rather than graciousness or 
strength on the part of the art. Mr. 
Tarbell draws with a lovable touch 
that never fails to remain in keeping 
with his clearly chosen shades and ac- 
cents of light. He fills with breadth 
his delicate regard for color. In his 
treatment of actual surfaces he ex- 
hibits a definite understanding and 
skill in dealing with various textures, 
as when he succeeds in the unusual 
task of contrasting the clear reflected 
light of the girl's shirtwaist against 
the dull, luminous glow of the walk 
Again and again he repeats his faculty 
of spreading suggestiveness and indi- 
viduality of character without manner- 
isms. Yet that he may more completely 
raise himself above the level of an imi- 
tator to the position where he may 
bind feeling and fact into a comprehen- 
sive whole, he works cleverly and 
sympathetically at his calling, that by 
nature must be one of deception. 
Nevertheless, he sees to it that the 
deception remains plausible, and in this 
plausibility he hides and yet expresses 
what he feels by what he sees. 

Edmund C. Tarbell was born in West 
Groton, Massachusetts, in 1862. He 
first studied painting at the Boston 
Museum of Fine Arts, where he re- 
mained until he went to Paris. There, 
with Eugene Benson, also a Boston 
painter, he worked under Daunat, 
Boulanger, Lefebvre, and in the Acad- 
emie Julien. Since his return he has 
devoted himself almost entirely to New 
England, painting what he found first 
at hand, and teaching in the Boston 
Museum of Fine Arts. He is a mem- 
ber of the National Academy of Design. 
His work has received numerous prizes 
both abroad at Paris and at home, as 
in the case of the Shaw fund at the 
Society of American Artists. 

H. St. G. 


A Portrait of Coleridge by Washington 



The original of this portrait of Cole- 
ridge is at present on exhibition at the 
Boston Museum, loaned by the owner, 
Mr. Richard H. Dana, a great-nephew 
of the artist. The fact that Allston 
painted two different portraits of the 
poet at an interval of eight years has 
been the cause of no little confusion. 
Indeed, the two portraits are so differ- 
ent — more so than is accounted for by 
the mere difference in age — that to 
have the one picture in mind while 
reading a description of the other 
naturally led to the most rasping of 
arguments on the part of otherwise 
highly estimable persons. 

This portrait, which is, I believe, re- 
produced for the first time, was painted 
in 1805, when Coleridge was in Rome. 
Although but thirty-three years of 
age, his best work was already done, 
and he had left England in the vain 
hope of regaining his lost health. 
While in Rome, Coleridge's chief inti- 
mates were the two Americans, All- 
ston, then twenty-six years old, and 
Washington Irving, the brilliant young 
law clerk who had not yet begun his 
literary career with the Salmagundi 
papers. It was the charm and fellow- 
ship of these days in Rome that caused 
Irving's short-lived determination to 
throw up the study of the law and be- 
come a painter. We may thank our 
stars that later he saw that the sudden 
resolution was due rather to his admir- 
ation of Allston and the glamour of the 
Italian landscape, than to any real tal- 
ent for art. After all, we should miss 
Washington Irving from our literature 
rather more than Washington Allston 
from our art. 

The three congenial young men cer- 
tainly enjoyed rare times in the glor- 
ious old-world capital. As Allston 
painted, Coleridge would hold forth in 
the wonderful way we have heard so 
much about, on every subject under 
the sun. And not only do we hear of 

these talks in the studio, but also as 
they took place during the long walks 
which the trio indulged in about the 
city. Allston, looking back on it all, 
said humorously: " Coleridge used to 
call Rome 'the silent city,' but I could 
never think of it as such while with 
him, for meet him when and where I 
would, the fountain of his mind was 
never dry, but, like the far-reaching 
aqueducts that once supplied this mis- 
tress of the world, its living stream 
seemed specially to flow for every 
classic ruin over which we wandered." 

Of the quality of this flow of lan- 
guage, Allston has given us this high 
praise: "When I recall some of our 
walks," he says, "under the pines of 
the Villa Borghese, I am almost 
tempted to dream that I have once 
listened to Plato in the groves of the 

When we remember, not only the 
universal eulogies of Coleridge's powers 
of conversation, but also those that 
were showered on the social and intel- 
lectual charm of both Allston and 
Irving, we may well regret the loss to 
the world of the permanent record 
which Coleridge had prepared. These 
papers were among those which the 
panic-stricken sea-captain forced him 
to throw overboard when followed by 
the spies of Buonaparte. 

We are given here and there in the 
correspondence of Allston an inkling 
of some of the conversations. Evi- 
dently at least once there was waged a 
heated discussion over the comparative 
merits of the Greek and Gothic archi- 
tecture. Coleridge is quoted as declar- 
ing that while "Grecian architecture is 
a thing, Gothic architecture is an idea, 
and then followed the delicious boast 
that he " could make a Greek temple of 
two brickbats and a cocked hat ! ' ' 

The friendship between the poet and 
the painter lasted for more than 
twenty-five years. Allston once de- 


From a painting by Washington Allston in the possession of Mr. Richard H Dana 



The Critic 

clared, "to no other man do I owe so 
much intellectually as to Mr. Cole- 
ridge," and Coleridge wrote Allston : 

' ' Had I not known the Wordsworths, 
I should have esteemed and loved you 
first and most, and as it is, next to 
them I love and honor you." 

When Allston was seriously ill in 
Bristol in 1813, Coleridge rushed to 
him and nursed him devotedly. It 
was during Allston's convalescence 
that he painted the second portrait of 
the poet, which now hangs at the 
National Portrait Gallery in London, 
and of which Wordsworth said: "It is 
the only likeness that ever gave me any 
pleasure; it is incomparably the finest 
likeness taken of Coleridge." 

The Bristol portrait was painted for 
a friend and admirer of Coleridge, Mr. 
Wade, who valued it so highly that, 
although apparently agreeing with 
Wordsworth that the picture should 
hang in some public gallery, neverthe- 
less on his death willed it to a relative 
with the injunction not to part with it. 
In some way, years after, largely, it is 
said, through the efforts of Words- 
worth, the portrait was finally secured 
for the National Portrait Gallery. 
When, in 1854, this portrait was for 
the first time placed in the hands of an 
engraver, the London Guardian said of 

It is by far the finest portrait of Coleridge in ex- 
istence, and much more recalls the power and intel- 
lect of the face than any other we ever saw. He is 
sitting in a room which has something of an antique 
cast about it, with his hand upon a book, looking 
upward ; the portliness and white hair of middle 
life have come upon him, but the expression of his 
face is very refined and beautiful, and the form of 
his head grand and noble. 

Allston himself said : 

So far as I can judge of my own production, the 
likeness of Coleridge is a true one, but it is Cole- 
ridge in repose ; and though not unstirred by the 
perpetual ground-swell of his ever-working intel- 
lect, and shadowing forth something of the deep 
philosopher, it is not Coleridge in his highest mood, 
the poetic state, when the divine afflatus possessed 

When in that state [he goes on to say] no face I 
ever saw was like his : it seemed almost spirit made 

visible without a shadow of the physical upon it. 
Could. I then have fixed it upon canvas ! but it was 
beyond the reach of my art. 

I wonder if Allston realized that in 
the earlier and unfinished portrait his 
art had reached higher, that he had 
caught more of that "divine afflatus," 
more of the fire and intrepidity of 
genius. His biographer says of it, "it 
is extremely interesting, and though 
far from finished, does not disappoint 
the admirers of Coleridge"! This is 
lukewarm praise, indeed, it would seem 
to me, for I am of the opinion that 
this unfinished portrait, taken just as 
it was left by the artist, is more in- 
teresting and satisfactory as a portrait 
than any of the "finished" ones I have 
seen, and this includes the one by 
Leslie, as well as that of the very young 
poet painted by Vandyke.* And not 
only do I hold this earlier Allston 
portrait of Coleridge above all the 
others, but as the best canvas I have 
seen from the hand of Allston. The 
charm of the picture lies not alone in 
the subject; it is handled with great 
vigor and certainty ; there is a dash 
and spirit about it that is exceptional, 
perhaps, in any age, certainly in the 
age in which it was painted. Here is 
the inspiration red-hot, before it has 
been pressed into the mould of con- 
ventionality, according to the strait- 
laced rules of "historical painting," 
which had their influence even when 
the subject was a contemporary. 

Wherein lies the oft-felt but never 
explained charm of some unfinished 
paintings? That some have thought 
the charm consists merely in the lack 
of finish has proved the undoing of 
many a modern artist. To leave a 
poor picture unfinished adds neither 
to its charm nor value. In so far as 
anything so intangible as charm may 
permit of analysis, I should say the 
truth lies approximately here : A pic- 
ture may possess a certain indescrib- 
ably subtle quality, which lends 
fascination to it; this quality once 
achieved, there is danger that it escape 
while the artist is trying to give it the 

* Of this later Vandyke, Cunningham quaintly says, " he 
was allied more in name than talent with him of the days of 
Charles I.'> 

A Portrait of Coleridge by Washington Allston 141 

quality of permanence. A great artist 
knows how to be master of his genius 
without making it wilt and sicken 
under obvious bonds. Spontaneity, 
life, freshness of statement, directness 
of means employed, subordination of 

It may be interesting to end with 
Allston's own remarks in his Lectures 
on Art upon unfinished paintings: 

I may here notice [he says] a false notion which 
is current among artists, that some parts of a pic- 

■■ill I ^-. 


A contemporary portrait, hitherto unpublished, of the poet Coleridge; the work of R. Dawe, R.A., and an illustration in Lord 

Coleridge's history of this famous Devonshire family. London, Fisher Unwin ; New York, Charles Scribner's Sons 

the unessential, — all these are qualities 
that in a painting make for charm, and 
they are as elusive as the will-o'-the- 
wisp! One moment the charm is 
there, the next it is not. It happens, 
for instance, that it is felt supremely 
in the unfinished "Athenaeum por- 
traits" of Washington and his wife 
and in the delightful unfinished por- 
trait of Mrs. Percy Morton, of Gilbert 
Stuart, as it is felt in this unfinished 
portrait of Allston. Let us not at- 
tempt further to break the butterfly 
on the wheel : let us simply be grateful ! 

ture should be left unfinished. The very statement 
betrays its unsoundness, for that which is unfinished 
must necessarily be imperfect ; so that, according 
to this rule, imperfection is made essential to 

Of course, in one way he is quite 
right: one cannot catch a will-o'-the- 
wisp with a yard-stick ! But I have a 
notion that Allston would scarcely 
approve of my holding his unfinished 
"Coleridge" in as high esteem as I do. 
All of which goes to show that a painter 
may paint better than his theories! 

The Young Pretender 


The next King of France! Who 
will he be? A question often asked by 
the adherents of the Due de Orleans, 
Don Carlos, Victor Napoleon, and 
Jean de Bourbon, the youngest of 
the "Pretenders," whose claim to the 
throne of Louis XVI. rests upon the 
assumption that he is his great-grand- 
son and grandson of Louis XVII.* 
("Naundorff "), the Dauphin (?) who ac- 
cording to popular rumor died in prison 
June 8, 1795, and was buried at night 




in an unmarked grave by the wall of 
the churchyard of Ste.-Marguerite f in 
an obscure quarter of Paris. That the 

* " Correspondance et Intime et Louis XVII.," by Otto 
Friedrichs, Paris, 1905, is a most scholarly and interesting 
work on " Naundorff ,r and his claims. 

t See the publication, " Ville de Paris, 1904, Commission 
du Vieux Pancien Cimetiere Paroissial de Sainte-Mar- 
guerite, Historique Inhumation du Dauphin Disparition pro- 
chaine (1624-1904) Annexe au Proces Verbal de la Seance 
du Fevrier. 1904 " ; and " Le Cimetiere du Sainte-Marguerite 
et la Sepulture de Louis XVII.," par Lucien Lambeaux, 
Paris, 1905. 

Dauphin did not die in prison, but that 
with the assistance of friends he made 
his "escape" therefrom — a sick child 
being left in his stead, — is now the 
almost universally accepted belief of 
historians. It is also thought that his 
"escape" was known to Fouche and 
assisted by Josephine Beauharnais, and 
that beside the sick child several other 
children, whose names are said to have 
been Tardif, Leminger, de Jarjages, 
and Gornhaut, were used as "blinds," 
while the real Louis XVII. was being 
helped out of the country by the Roy- 
alists. But at present it is not my pur- 
pose to write about Louis XVII. , but 
to tell a little about Auguste-Jean- 
Charles-Emmanuel de Bourbon and his 
antecedents, or Jean III. as he is 
known to his followers and supporters, 
now rapidly increasing in numbers and 

At Delft, August 10, 1845, ended the 
strange, adventurous life of the exile 
Charles William NaundorfT,* whose 
grave in the old cemetery (at Delft) 
soon after his interment bore, by official 
permission, the following inscription: 

Ici Repose 

Roi de France et de Navarre 
Charles Louis Due de Normandie 
Ne a Versailles le 27 Mars 1785 
Decede a Delft le 10 Aout 1845 

June 8, 1904, the remains of "Naun- 
dorff" were exhumed and re-interred 
in the new cemetery at Delft, and once 
more by official permission the old in- 
scription appears upon the tombstone. 

King William II., King William III., 
Queen Wilhelmina, have allowed this 
inscription to remain unmolested. 

On the coming of age of the "Naun- 
dorffs " the Dutch government grants 
to them the legal right to the name de 

* At Versailles, in the presence of Bismarck, Jules Favre 
signed the armistice, and he sealed it with a ring he wore. 
The ring was a present to him from Naundorff ! 


The Young Pretender 


In 1818" Naundorff" married Jeanne- 
Frederique Einert, and while it is 
thought that he resembled Marie- 
Antoinette more than Louis XVI., 
two at least of his eight children, the 
late Charles-Louis (Charles XL), and 
Marie-Therese, born in 1835 and still 
living, are pure Bourbon types. The 
profile of Marie-Therese, as shown in a 
recent photograph, is almost identical 
with that of Louis XVI. 

The late Charles-Edmond, "Naun- 
dorfT's " fifth child, was the father of 
Jean de Bourbon, who was born at 
Maastricht, November 6, 1872, and 
married February 7, 1898, Mile. Cuille. 
Their only child, Henri-Charles-Louis 
(the Dauphin), was born November 27, 

1899. ; 

In their pleasant home on the Fau- 
bourg St.-Honore, every Wednesday 
afternoon "Prince and Princess" de 
Bourbon hold an informal reception, 
where their "party," and scholars in- 
terested in "The question," meet and 
talk of what France was in the past, of 
what France may be in the future, and 
perhaps glance at the latest number of 
La Ligitimitt, the recognized organ of 
the ' ' Naundorffists, ' ' now in its twenty- 
third year, or one of the books on Louis 
XVII., of which quite a number have 
been published during the last six 

The bust of "Naundorff " stands in 
the corner, and while the features of 
"Prince Jean " show a resemblance, in 
the young man the Bourbon nose is 
more pronounced and in the long thin 
eyebrows there is a most startling re- 
minder of Marie-Antoinette. 

Two little incidents will serve to 
show how strongly the marks of hered- 
ity are noticeable in the face of "Prince 
Jean." A domestic saw him in the 

hall of the hotel where I was stopping 
and soon after, on seeing a picture of 
"Naundorff" on my writing table, re- 

Taken soon after his death in Delft in 1845 

marked, "I saw a gentleman in the 
hall to-day — I don't know who he was, 
but he looked like this picture." On 
the Rue de Rivoli I purchased a post- 
card on which was the head of Marie- 
Antoinette, evidently a reproduction 
from an old picture. I showed it to a 
friend, and instantly came the exclama- 
tion : "I only saw him once, but what 
a wonderful likeness to Jean de Bour- 
bon ! " 

The Great Commonplaces of Reading 


There are those who have misgiv- 
ings lest the multiplication of public 
libraries and means of access to books 
should have the effect of slackening the 
native energy of the mind, dulling the 
edge of the will, and numbing mother 
wit. That is the view of some, and 
there may be danger of the kind. We 
have not yet had experience to know, 
but I cannot conceive how these effects 
can come from a judicious use of the 
knowledge and stimulation books alone 
can supply. For people who have free 
access to all forms of literature it would 
be selfishness to grudge the opening 
of these treasures to other people less 
favorably placed than themselves. A 
library may be the means of quickening 
the intelligence, of opening new paths 
to young men and women, who with- 
out it would not have known their own 
faculties, or have been stimulated to 
make the best use of their gifts. We 
waste many things, time, and money; 
but no waste is so dreadful to think of 
as the waste of human character and 
the brain above the average of a man's 
fellows, through not giving access to 
those agencies and instruments that 
develop the exceptional brain or larger 
heart to full available capacity and 

The object of reading is not to dip 
into everything that even wise men 
have ever written. In the words of 
one of the most winning writers of 
English that ever existed — Cardinal 
Newman — the object of literature in 
education is to open the mind, to cor- 
rect it, to refine it, to enable it to com- 
prehend and digest its knowledge, to 
give it power over its own faculties, 
application, flexibility, method, critical 
exactness, sagacity, address, and ex- 
pression. These are the objects of that 
intellectual perfection which a literary 
education is destined to give. 

Literature consists of all the books — 

* This paper is composed of several extemporaneous ad- 
dresses on books and reading, and has been revised for this 
publication by Mr. Morley.— Editor Critic. 

and they are not so many — where moral 
truth and human passion are touched 
with a certain largeness, sanity, and 
attraction of form. My notion of a 
literary student is one who through 
books explores the strange voyages 
of man's moral reason, the impulses 
of the human heart, the chances and 
changes that have overtaken human 
ideals of virtue and happiness, of con- 
duct and manners, and the shifting 
fortunes of great conceptions of truth 
and virtue. Poets, dramatists, humor- 
ists, satirists, masters of fiction, the 
great preachers, the character-writers, 
the maxim-writers, the great political 
orators — they are all literature in so far 
as they teach us to know man and to 
know human nature. This is what 
makes literature, rightly sifted and 
selected and rightly studied, not the 
mere elegant trifling that it is so often 
and so erroneously supposed to be, but 
a proper instrument for a systematic 
training of the imagination and sym- 
pathies, and of a genial and varied 
moral sensibility. 

What is needed is the historic sense 
of the progress through the ages. This 
is of more importance than all the 
events got out of the three-decker 
volumes of history. What should be 
known is the progress of the world as 
a whole, and its effects on the human 
heart in all its variations. These are 
the important matters, and it is as 
much the object of a library to give a 
key to this general interest and knowl- 
edge as to provide special information. 
Every good library is in itself a book. 
As a collection of books it has abundant 
value; but, more than that, it repre- 
sents the thoughts, the feelings, the 
motives, the impulses of men of all 
ages. All the leading facts of life are 
there ; all the differences between man 
and man; all the differences between 
the ages are there — the tears, the 
laughter, the labors of mankind are in 
a library; the efforts, the failures, the 
glories, the idle dreams and their mis- 


The Great Commonplaces of Reading 


chiefs — the whole overwhelming drama 
of humanity is there. To be sensible 
of this there must be what some one 
has called the "feel" of a library. I 
agree with a friend who tells me that 
when, at night, he puts out his library 
lamp, and turns the key in the door, 
leaving all the procession of saints, 
sages, warriors, and martyrs, the cham- 
pions of freedom, truth, and justice, 
those who had been trampled down 
and failed, and those who have suc- 
ceeded and been torchbearers to truth, 
leaving them all in a sort of sublime 
solitude and darkness, it is then he 
feels, more than in the working da)', 
the true pathos of mankind, the deep 
mystery of time. 

No sensible person can suppose for a 
single moment that everybody is born 
with the ability for using books, for 
reading and studying literature. Cer- 
tainly not everybody is born with the 
capacity of being a great scholar. All 
people are no more born great scholars, 
like Gibbon and Bentley, than they are 
all born great musicians, like Handel 
and Beethoven. What is much worse 
than that, many come into the world 
with the incapacity of reading, just as 
they come into it with the incapacity 
of distinguishing one tune from an- 
other. To them I have nothing to 
say. Even the morning paper is too 
much for them. They can only skim 
the surface even of that. I go farther, 
and frankly admit that the habit and 
power of reading with reflection, com- 
prehension, and memory all alert and 
awake, does not come at once to the 
natural man any more than many other 
sovereign virtues come to that interest- 
ing creature. 

What I do venture to press upon you 
is that it requires no preterhuman force 
of will in any young man or woman — 
unless household circumstances are 
more than usually vexatious and un- 
favorable — to get at least half-an-hour 
out of a solid busy day for good and 
disinterested reading. Some will say 
that this is too much to expect, and 
the first persons to say it, I venture to 
predict, will be those who waste their 
time most. At any rate, if 1 cannot 
get half-an-hour, I will be content with 

a quarter. Now, in half-an-hour I 
fancy you can read fifteen or twenty 
pages of Burke ; or you can read one of 
Wordsworth's masterpieces — say, the 
lines on Tintern; or, say, one-third — if 
a scholar, in the original, and if not, in 
a translation — of a book of the "Iliad" 
or the "^Eneid." I do not think that 
I am filling the half-hour too full. But 
try for yourselves what you can read 
in half-an-hour. Then multiply" the 
half-hour by 365, and consider what 
treasures you might have laid by at the 
end of the year, and what happiness, 
fortitude, and wisdom they would have 
given you during all the days of your 

You may have often heard from 
others, or may have found out, how 
good it is to have on your shelves, 
however scantily furnished they may 
be, three or four of those books to 
which it is well to give ten minutes 
every morning, before going down into 
the battle and choking dust of the day. 
Men will name these books for them- 
selves. One will choose the Bible, 
another Goethe, one the "Imitation of 
Christ," another Wordsworth. Per- 
haps it matters little what it may be 
so long as your writer has cheerful 
seriousness, elevation, calm, and, above 
all, a sense of size and strength, which 
shall open out the day before you, and 
bestow gifts of fortitude and mastery. 

The possession of some books is a 
real necessity for all. I have had in 
my time in perambulating England, 
for political orations or other purposes, 
to mingle much among what are called 
the upper middle classes — I hate these 
distinctions of classes, but my meaning 
will be understood — and I was con- 
stantly appalled at the shocking trump- 
ery I found on the shelves of those 
who were kind enough to entertain me 
on those occasions. Much talk there 
is of Shakespeare, of Milton, of Bacon, 
of Locke, and so forth ; but how many 
copies of these authors, not to mention 
Burke and others, but of authors whose 
names are continually on our lips, are 
to be found in private houses? Not a 
quarter as many as might be expected. 
Of course, everybody who is able to 
possess anything beyond bread and 


The Critic 

cheese, clothing, and the wherewithal 
to keep a roof over his head, ought to 
possess some three, four, or five books: 
it is surprising how very few the vol- 
umes are that contain the root of the 
matter in literature, the gems and 
pearls and fine gold of literature. It is 
a great mistake to think you cannot 
understand or enjoy the pleasures of 
literature unless you possess a library: 
a very few books will serve, if rightly 
chosen. It is a great thing to know 
such books, so that the world, past, 
present, and future, shall not be all 
cloud and chaos to the mind, without 
order, system, or significance. Those 
who know very little of the past and 
care very little for the future will make 
but a sorry business of the present. 
The present, or what Goethe called 
"this portion of eternity," concerns us 
most; but we shall not understand the 
present, nor have the means to deal 
with its problems and duties, unless we 
have some notion of the general order 
of the past and experience for the 
future. For the past you must know 

The greatest lesson of history is the 
fact of its oneness; of the inter-de- 
pendence of all the elements that have 
in the course of long ages made the 
European of to-day what we see him to 
be. It is, no doubt, necessary for clear 
and definite understanding and com- 
prehension to isolate your phenomenon, 
and to follow the stream of our history 
separately. But that cannot be enough. 
We must also see that this stream is the 
effluent of a far broader and mightier 
flood — whose springs and sources and 
great tributaries lay higher up in the 
history of mankind. 

We are learning [says Mr. Freeman, whose little 
book on the " Unity of History " I cannot be wrong 
in warmly recommending even to the busiest] that 
European history, even from its first glimmerings 
to our own day, is one unbroken drama, no part of 
which can be rightly understood without reference 
to the other parts which come before and after it. 
We are learning that of this great drama Rome is 
the centre, the point to which all roads lead, and 
from which all roads lead no less. The world of 
independent Greece stands on one side of it ; the 
world of modern Europe stands on another. But 
the history alike of the great centre itself, and of 

its satellites on either side, can never be fully 
grasped except from a point of view wide enough 
to take in the whole group, and to mark the rela- 
tions of each of its members to the centre and to 
one another. 

Now, the counsel which our learned 
historian thus urges upon the scholar 
and the leisured student equally repre- 
sents the point of view which is proper 
for the more numerous classes. The 
scale will have to be reduced; all save 
the very broadest aspects of things will 
have to be left out; none save the 
highest ranges and the streams of most 
copious volume will find a place in that 
map. Small as is the scale, and many 
as are its omissions, yet if a man has 
intelligently followed the very shortest 
course of universal history, it will be 
the fault of his teacher if he has not 
acquired an impressive conception, 
which will never be effaced, of the des- 
tinies of man upon the earth; of the 
mighty confluence of forces working 
on from age to age, which have their 
meeting in every one of us; of the 
order in which each state of society has 
followed its foregoer, according to great 
and changeless laws "embracing all 
things and all times" ; of the thousand 
faithful hands that have, one after an- 
other, each in their several degrees, 
orders, and capacities, trimmed the 
silver lamp of knowledge, and kept its 
sacred flame bright, from generation to 
generation and age to age, now in one 
land and now in another, from its early 
spark among far-off dim Chaldeans 
down to Goethe and Faraday and Dar- 
win, and all the other good workers of 
our day. 

The shortest course of universal his- 
tory will let him see how he owes to 
the Greek civilization, on the shores of 
the Mediterranean two thousand years 
back, a debt extending from the archi- 
tectural forms of our buildings to some 
of the most systematic operations of his 
own mind ; will let him see the forum 
of Rome, its roads and its gates — 

What conflux issuing forth or entering in, 
Praetors, Proconsuls to their provinces 
Hasting or on return, in robes of state — 

air busily welding an empire together 
in a marvellous framework of citizen- 

The Great Commonplaces of Reading 


ship, manners, and laws, that laid as- 
sured foundations for a still higher 
civilization that was to come after. 
He will learn how when the Roman 
Empire declined, then at Damascus 
and Bagdad and Seville the Mahometan 
conquerors took up the torch of science 
and learning, and handed it on to 
Western Europe when the new genera- 
tions were ready. He will learn how 
in the meantime, during ages which we 
both wrongly and ungratefully call 
dark, from Rome again, that other 
great organization, the mediaeval 
Church, had arisen, which, amid many 
imperfections, and some crimes, did a 
work that no glory of physical science 
can equal, and no instrument of physi- 
cal science can compass, in purifying 
men's appetites, in setting discipline 
and direction on their lives, and in 
offering to humanity new types of 
moral obligation and fairer ideals of 
saintly perfection, whose light still 
shines like a star to guide our own 
poor voyages. It is only by this con- 
templation of the life of our race as a 
whole that men see the beginnings and 
the ends of things; learn not to be 
near-sighted in history, but to look 
before and after; see their own part 
and lot in the rising up and going down 
of empires and faiths since first recorded 
time began; and what I am contending 
for is that, even if you can go no farther 
than the mere vestibule of ihis ancient 
and ever venerable Temple of many 
marvels, you will have opened the way 
to a kind of knowledge that not only 
enlightens the understanding, but en- 
riches the character — which is a higher 
thing than mere intellect — and makes 
it constantly alive with the spirit of 

I know it is said that such a view of 
collective history is true, but that you 
will never get plain people to respond 
to it ; it is a thing for intellectual dilet- 
tanti and moralizing virtuosi. Well, 
we do not know, because we have 
never yet honestly tried, what the 
commonest people will or will not re- 
spond to. When Sir Richard Wallace's 
pictures were being exhibited at Beth- 
nal Green, after people had said that 
the workers had no souls for art, and 

would not appreciate its treasures, a 
story is told of a female in very poor 
clothes gazing intently at a picture of 
the Infant Jesus in the arms of His 
Mother, and then exclaiming: ''Who 
would not try to be a good zvoman zvho 
had such a child as that ? ' ' We have 
never yet, I say, tried the height and 
pitch to which our people are capable 
of rising. 

If a man is despondent about his 
work, the best remedy that I can pre- 
scribe to him is to turn to a good 
biography; there he will find that 
other men before him have known the 
dreary reaction that follows long-sus- 
tained effort, and he will find that one 
of the differences between the first-rate 
man and the fifth-rate lies in the vigor 
with which the first-rate man recovers 
from this reaction, and crushes it down, 
and again flings himself once more 
upon the breach. I remember the 
wisest and most virtuous man I have 
ever known, or am ever likely to know 
— Mr. Mill — once saying to me that, 
whenever he had written anything, he 
always felt profoundly dissatisfied with 
it, and it was only by reflecting that he 
had felt the same about other pieces, 
of which the world had thought well, 
that he could bring himself to send the 
new production to the printer. The 
heroism of the scholar and the truth- 
seeker is not less admirable than the 
heroism of the man-at-arms. 

I understand that in the library at 
Woolwich, which has been open for 
three years, the proportion of books 
issued is something like — fiction, 65 
per cent.; history and biography, 15 
per cent. ; poetry, 7 per cent. ; travel 
and topography, j\ per cent. ; natural 
science, 6 per cent. ; and useful arts — 
well, the rest. That is, using the word 
in its technical sense, but under certain 
circumstances I would call poetry use- 
ful, and even for the 65 per cent, of 
fiction there is something to be said — 
not, of course, for the trash which too 
often takes the honored name of fiction. 
I might justify the claim of poetry and 
fiction to be classed among the books 
called useful, as rousing and stirring 
the imagination. Our prosaic lives 
need all the stir and imagination poetry 


The Critic 

and fiction can give. Can any one say 
that it is a deplorable thing that so 
much attention should be given to 
Walter Scott, Dickens, Dumas, Thack- 
eray, George Eliot, Jane Austen, Mrs. 
Gaskell, and other admirable story- 
tellers, not to mention living authors, 
which might seem invidious? If fiction 
takes a large place in a library, I do 
not care so far as it promotes cheerful- 
ness and good humor, for that is 
wanted. Information is, of course, the 
object of everybody, but cheerfulness 
and good humor are as important as 
any information, except information on 
our own special calling. Of course, it 
may seem deplorable that drama and 
poetry should be in the. proportion of 
260 volumes to 3300 of fiction in a 
public library, but it does not surprise 
nor discourage me. 

Characters in fiction live with us, and 
are as much part of our lives as our 
friends in our own street. Some of 
the characters in fiction are as real to 
us as the great characters in history. 
Of course, our comparisons of men of 
action with men of literature are idle 
and meaningless: and when we are 
told the world of books is peopled with 
shadows, in a sense it is true — we are 
all shadows. But the figures in books, 
through which great ideas have been 
launched into the world, characters 
who exhibit human nature in large and 
striking aspects, creations of poetry 
and fiction — they are not shadows: 
they are substance. Would any man 
say that Napoleon Bonaparte is the 
substance, but Goethe and Byron, his 
contemporaries, mere transient shad- 
ows; or that Pitt, Fox, Canning, and 
Castlereagh are substances, but Scott, 
Shelley, and Wordsworth mere phan- 
toms? It would be wrong to say any 
such thing. These men are the direc- 
tors of thought into the grooves in 
which it moves: their books contain 
substance; and there is far more that 
is shadowy in the events of the lives of 
great actors, to whom we rashly give 
the name of reality and real history. 
The great Duke of Marlborough said 
that he had learnt all the history he 
ever knew out of Shakespeare's histori- 
cal plays. I have long thought that if 

we persuaded those classes who have 
to fight their own little Battles of 
Blenheim for bread every day, to make 
such a beginning of history as is fur- 
nished by Shakespeare's plays and 
Scott's novels, we should have done 
more to imbue them with a real inter- 
est in the past of mankind than if we 
had taken them through a course of 
Hume and Smollett, or Hallam on the 
English Constitution, or even the 
dazzling Macaulay. 

A taste for poetry is not given to 
everybody, but anybody who does not 
enjoy poetry, who is not refreshed, 
exhilarated, stirred by it, leads but a 
mutilated existence. I would advise 
that in looking for poets — of course, 
after Shakespeare — you should follow 
the rule of allowing preferences, but no 
exclusion. I have heard people talk 
of the claim of poets as of a contested 
election ; but one poet will appeal to a 
man's mind where another will not. 
Here I will say something which may 
perhaps bring upon me a storm of 
criticism from some of my friends. If 
I were asked upon what poet should a 
reader begin I would say Byron. He 
was not the greatest of poets, but he 
had daring, energy, and the historic 
sense, with a loathing for cant in all its 
forms. At the beginning of last cen- 
tury he was the great central inspiring 
force of democracy on the Continent 
of Europe; and when democracy ex- 
tends its reading, and applies itself for 
inspiration to poetry, apart from the 
facts, needs, and demands of the day, 
then Byron, I think, will once more 
have his day. 

Knowledge is worth little until you 
have made it so perfectly your own 
as to be capable of reproducing it in 
precise and definite form. Goethe said 
that in the end we only retain of our 
studies, after all, what we practically 
employ of them. And it is at least 
well that in our serious studies we 
should have the possibility of prac- 
tically turning them to a definite 
destination clearly before our eyes. 
Nobody can be sure that he has got 
clear ideas on a subject unless he has 

The Great Commonplaces of Reading 


tried to put them down on a piece of 
paper in independent words of his own. 
Various mechanical contrivances and 
aids to successful study are not to be 
despised by those who would extract 
the most from books. Many people 
think of knowledge as of money: they 
would like knowledge, but cannot face 
the perseverance and self-denial that 
go to the acquisition of it. The wise 
student will do most of his reading 
with a pen or pencil in his hand. He 
will not shrink from the useful toil 
of making abstracts and summaries 
of what he is reading. Sir William 
Hamilton was a strong advocate for 
underscoring books of study. 

Intelligent underlining [he said] gave a kind of 
abstract of an important work, and by the use of 
different colored inks to mark a difference of con- 
tents, and discriminate the doctrinal from the his- 
torical or illustrative elements of an argument or 
exposition, the abstract became an analysis very 
serviceable for ready reference. 

This assumes, as Hamilton said, that 
the book to be operated on is your 
own, and, perhaps, is rather too elabo- 
rate a counsel of perfection for most of 
us. Again, some great men — Gibbon 
was one, and Daniel Webster was an- 
other, and the great Lord Strafford was 
a third — always before reading a book 
made a short, rough analysis of the 
questions which they expected to be 
answered in it, the additions to be 
made to their knowledge, and whither 
it would take them. 

After glancing my eye [says Gibbon] over the 
design and order of a new book, I suspended the 
perusal until I had finished the task of self-exami- 
nation ; till I had revolved in a solitary walk all 
that I knew or believed or had thought on the sub- 
ject of the whole work or of some particular chap- 
ter : I was then qualified to discern how much the 
author added to my original stock ; and if I was 
sometimes satisfied by the agreement, I was some- 
times armed by the opposition, of our ideas. 

I have sometimes tried that way of 
steadying and guiding attention; and 
I commend it to you. 

Such practices keep us from reading 
with the eye only, gliding vaguely over 
the page ; and they help us to place our 
new acquisitions in relation with what 

we knew before. It is almost always 
worth while to recall a thing twice 
over, to make sure that nothing has 
been missed or dropped on the way, or 
wrongly conceived or interpreted. And 
if the subject be serious, it is often well 
to let an interval elapse. Ideas, rela- 
tions, statements of fact, are not to be 
taken by storm. We have to steep 
them in the mind, in the hope of thus 
extracting their inmost essence and 
significance. If one lets an interval 
pass, and then returns, it is surprising 
how clear and ripe that has become, 
which, when we left it, seemed crude, 
obscure, full of perplexity. 

I need not tell you that you will find 
that most books worth reading once 
are worth reading twice, and — what is 
most important of all — the master- 
pieces of literature are worth reading a 
thousand times. It is a great mistake 
to think that because you have read a 
masterpiece once or twice, or ten times, 
therefore you have done with it. Be- 
cause it is a masterpiece, you ought to 
live with it, and make it part of your 
daily life. 

Another practice is that of keeping a 
commonplace book, and transcribing 
into it what is striking and interesting 
and suggestive. And if you keep it 
wisely, as Locke has taught us, you 
will put every entry under a head, 
division, or subdivision.* This is an 
excellent practice for concentrating 
your thought on the passage, and 
making you alive to its real point and 
significance. Here, however, the high 
authority of Gibbon is against us. He 
refuses "strenuously to recommend." 

The action of the pen [he says] will, doubtless, 
imprint an idea on the mind as well as on the 
paper ; but I much question whether the benefits of 
this laborious method are adequate to the waste of 
time ; and I must agree with Dr. Johnson that 
"what is twice read is commonly better remem- 
bered than what is transcribed." 

All this takes trouble, no doubt; 
but, then, it will not do to deal with 

* " If I would put anything in my commonplace book, I 
find out a head to which I may refer it. Each head ought to 
be some important and essential word to the matter in hand" 
(Locke's " Works," iii., 308, ed. 1801). This is for indexing 
purposes, but it is worth while to go farther, and make a title 
for the passage extracted, indicating its pith and purport. 


The Critic 

ideas that we find in books or else- 
where as a certain bird does with its 
eggs — leave them in the sand for the 
sun to hatch and chance to rear. Peo- 
ple who follow this plan possess noth- 
ing better than ideas half hatched, and 
convictions reared by accident. They 
are like a man who should pace up and 
down the world in the delusion that he 
is clad in sumptuous robes of purple 
and velvet, when in truth he is only 
half covered by the rags and tatters of 
other people's cast-off clothes. 

Apart from such mechanical devices 
as these I have mentioned, there are 
habits and customary attitudes of mind 
which a conscientious reader will prac- 
tise if he desires to get out of a book 
still greater benefits than the writer of 
it may have designed or thought of. 
For example, he should never be con- 
tent with mere aggressive and negatory 
criticism of the page before him. The 
page may be open to such criticism, 
and in that case it is natural to indulge 
in it; but the reader will often find an 
unexpected profit by asking himself: 
What does this error teach me? How 
comes that fallacy to be here? How 
came the writer to fall into this defect 
of taste? To ask such questions gives 
a reader a far healthier tone of mind in 
the long run, more seriousness, more 
depth, more moderation of judgment, 
more insight into other men's ways of 
thinking as well as into his own, than 
any amount of impatient condemnation 
and hasty denial, even when both con- 
demnation and denial may be in their 

Again, let us not be too ready to 
detect an inconsistency in our author, 
but rather let us teach ourselves to dis- 
tinguish between inconsistency and 
having two sides to an opinion. "Be- 
fore I admit that two and two are 
four," some one said, "I must first 
know to what use you are going to put 
the proposition." That is to say, even 
the plainest proposition needs to be 
stated with a view to the drift of the 
discussion in hand, or with a view to 
some special part of the discussion. 
When the turn of some other part of 
the matter comes, it will be convenient, 
and often necessary, to bring out into 

full light another side of your opinion, 
not contradictory, but complementary; 
and the great distinction of a candid 
disputant, or of a reader of good faith, 
is his willingness to take pains to see 
the points of reconciliation among dif- 
ferent aspects and different expres- 
sions of what is substantially the same 

Let me pass to another topic. We are 
often asked whether it is best to study 
subjects or authors or books. Well, I 
think that is like most of the stock 
questions with which the perverse in- 
genuity of mankind torments itself. 
There is no universal and exclusive 
answer. My own answer is a very 
plain one. It is sometimes best to 
study books, sometimes authors, and 
sometimes subjects; but at all times it 
is best to study authors, subjects, and 
books in connection with one another. 
Whether you make your first approach 
from interest in an author or in a book, 
the fruit will be only half gathered if 
you leave off without new ideas and 
clearer lights both on the man and the 
matter. One of the noblest master- 
pieces in the literature of civil and 
political wisdom is to be found in 
Burke's three performances on the 
American war — his speech on Taxation 
in 1774, on Conciliation in 1775, and 
his letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol in 
1777. I can only repeat what I have 
been saying in print and out of it for a 
good many years, and what I believe 
more firmly as observation is enlarged 
by time and occasion, that these three 
pieces are the most perfect manual 
in all literature for the study of great 
affairs, whether for the purpose of 
knowledge or action. 

They are an example, [as I have said before 
now], an example without fault of all the qualities 
which the critic, whether a theorist or an actor, of 
great political situations should strive by night and 
by day to possess. If their subject were as remote 
as the quarrel between the Corinthians and Corcyra, 
or the war between Rome and the Allies, instead of 
a conflict to which the world owes the opportunity 
of one of the most important of political experi- 
ments, we should still have everything to learn 
from the author's treatment : the vigorous grasp of 
masses of compressed detail, the wide illumination 
from great principles of human experience, the 

The Great Commonplaces of Reading 


strong and masculine feeling for the two great po- 
litical ends of Justice and Freedom, the large and 
generous interpretation of expediency, the morality, 
the vision, the noble temper. 

No student worthy of the name will 
lay aside these pieces, so admirable in 
their literary expression, so important 
for history, so rich in the lessons of 
civil wisdom, until he has found out 
something from other sources as to the 
circumstances from which such writ- 
ings arose, and as to the man whose re- 
splendent genius inspired them. There 
are great personalities, like Burke, who 
march through history with voices like 
a clarion trumpet, and something like 
the glitter of swords in their hands. 
They are as interesting as their work. 
Contact with them warms and kindles 
the mind. You will not be content, 
after reading one of these pieces, with- 
out knowing the character and person- 
ality of the man who conceived it, and 
until you have spent an hour or two 
— and an hour or two will go a long 
way with Burke still fresh in your mind 
— over other compositions in political 
literature, over Bacon's civil pieces, or 
Machiavelli's "Prince," and others in 
the same order of thought. 

From this point of view let me re- 
mind you that books are not the pro- 
ducts of accident and caprice. As 
Goethe said, if you would understand 
an author, you must understand his 
age. The same thing is just as true of 
a book. If you would fully compre- 
hend it, you must know the age. 
There is an order ; there are causes and 
relations between great compositions 
and the societies in which they have 
emerged. Just as the naturalist strives 
to understand and to explain the dis- 
tribution of plants and animals over 
the surface of the globe, to connect 
their presence or their absence with the 
great geological, climatic, and oceanic 
changes, so the student of literature, if 
he be wise, undertakes an ordered and 
connected survey of ideas, of tastes, of 
sentiments, of imagination, of humor, 
of invention, as they affect and as they 
are affected by the ever-changing ex- 
periences of human nature and the 
manifold variations that time and cir- 

cumstances are incessantly working in 
human society. 

We are constantly asked whether 
desultory reading is among things law- 
ful and permitted. May we browse at 
large in a library, as Johnson said, or 
is it forbidden to open a book without 
a definite aim and fixed expectations? 
I am for a compromise. If a man has 
once got his general point of view, if 
he has striven with success to place 
himself at the centre, what follows is 
of less consequence. If he has got in 
his head a good map of the country, 
he may ramble at large with impunity. 
If he has once well and truly laid the 
foundations of a methodical, systematic 
habit of mind, what he reads will find 
its way to its proper place. If his in- 
tellect is in good order, he will find in 
every quarter something to assimilate 
and something that will nourish. 

Literature does not end with knowl- 
edge of forms, with inventories of 
books and authors, with finding the 
key of rhythm, with the varying meas- 
ure of the stanza, or the changes from 
the involved and sonorous periods of 
the seventeenth century down to the 
staccato of the nineteenth, or all the 
rest of the technicalities of scholarship. 
Do not think I contemn these. They 
are all good things to know, but they 
are not ends in themselves. The in- 
telligent man, says Plato, will prize 
those studies which result in his soul 
getting soberness, righteousness, and 
wisdom, and he will less value the 
others. Literature is one of the in- 
struments, and one of the most power- 
ful instruments, for forming character, 
for giving us men and women armed 
with reason, braced by knowledge, 
clothed with steadfastness and cour- 
age, and inspired by that public spirit 
and public virtue of which it has been 
well said that they are the brightest 
ornaments of the mind of man. Bacon 
is right, as he generally is, when he bids 
us read not to contradict and refute, 
nor to believe and take for granted, 
nor to find talk and discourse, but to 
weigh and to consider. Yes; let us 
read to weigh and to consider. In the 
times before us that promise or threaten 


The Critic 

deep political, economical, and social 
controversy, what we need to do is to 
induce our people to weigh and con- 
sider. We want them to cultivate 
energy without impatience, activity 
without restlessness, inflexibility with- 
out ill-humor. I am not going to 
preach any artificial stoicism. I am 
not going to preach any indifference to 

money, or to the pleasures of social in- 
tercourse, or to the esteem and good 
will of neighbors, or to any other of 
the consolations and necessities of life. 
But, after all, the thing that matters 
most, both for happiness and for duty, 
is that we should strive habitually 
to live with wise thoughts and right 

Oriental Definitions 



A Yogi 
Is a sort of holy fogy 

That does not wash or shave : 
His ways are rather logy 

From living in a cave. 

He dines off water, dates, 

Cheese-parings, plaint ain-rind, 
Then sits and demonstrates 

The Universal Mind! 



A Concord Note=Book 


The Women of Concord — I. 


In this part of my notes and recol- 
lections mention will be made of Mrs. 
Dr. Ripley, the grandmother of Emer- 
son, and her daughter-in-law, Mrs. 
Samuel Ripley: of Miss Mary Emer- 
son, the aunt, and Mrs. Lidian Emer- 
son, the wife, of Waldo Emerson; of 
Mrs. Asa Dunbar, the grandmother of 
Thoreau, his mother, Mrs. Cynthia 
Thoreau, and his sister Sophia; of Mrs. 
Mary Wilder White and her friends, 
intimate at Dr. Ripley's Old Manse; 
of Mrs. Samuel Hoar, mother of the 
Senator, and her daughter, Miss Eliza- 
beth Hoar; of Mrs. Bronson Alcott 
and her daughters Louisa and May; 
and of Margaret Fuller, the friend of 
most of these Concord families, al- 
though she never lived in Concord. Of 
these ladies, fourteen in all, I knew all 
but four, — the two grandmothers, Mrs. 
White, and Miss Fuller, — and of those 
I heard so much that I seem to have 
known them, although all four died 
before I ever set foot in Concord, — 
which, for the first time, was in April, 
185 1, while I was studying for Harvard 
College at Exeter, N. H. They repre- 
sent three generations of active life in 
the little town which the genius of 
Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, and 
Alcott has made so famous; they were 
all distinguished in their several ways, 
and half a dozen of them have been 
the subject of biographies, longer or 
shorter. Most of them lie buried in 
the village cemeteries of Concord, 
though but few of them were born 

Madam Ripley (whose first husband 
was Emerson's grandfather, and who 
was Phebe Bliss, the daughter of Phebe 
Walker and Rev. Daniel Bliss, who 
preceded Rev. William Emerson in the 
Concord pulpit) was one of a family 
whose members were divided by the 
Revolution, — her brother, Daniel Bliss, 

having taken the English side in that 
contest, and another brother, Theodore 
Bliss, having been an officer in the Rev- 
olutionary army. She was born in what 
was then the Parsonage of the town 
(now the oldest house in the village), 
in 1741 ; the Old Manse was built for 
her in 1769, after she married her 
father's successor in the parish ; at Rev. 
William Emerson's death, in 1776, she 
continued to occupy the New Manse; 
and there, in 1780, she married Rev. 
Ezra Ripley, her husband's successor; 
there, too, she died in 1825. Her 
second husband was ten years younger 
than herself; by both husbands she 
had eight children, of whom three 
were sons, and two of these were 

She therefore may be said to have 
belonged to the clergy herself — as, 
indeed, was sometimes claimed by her 
daughter, Mary Moody Emerson, who 
was born in the New Manse, now the 
Old one, in 1774, and lived to be al- 
most ninety. Madam Ripley was a 
stately and cultivated lady, who saw 
much affliction in the separations and 
bereavements of her family. Her 
brother was exiled and his Concord 
property confiscated for his Toryism; 
her youngest son, named for his uncle, 
Daniel Bliss Ripley, who graduated at 
Harvard in 1805, and began law-prac- 
tice in Boston, was involved in a duel, 
and left New England, never to return. 
He lived for some years at St. Ste- 
phens, in Alabama, and corresponded 
with his family at Concord. Her 
daughter, Sarah Ripley, often men- 
tioned in the correspondence of her 
friend, Mrs. White, seems to have been 
wooed by Henry Wilder, who died 
young in the West Indies; Sarah re- 
mained unwedded, and did not long 
outlive her mother and brother. What 
I believe is the first mention of the 


A Concord Note=Book 


Old Manse in literature occurs in a 
letter from Mrs. Van Schalkwych 
(Mary Wilder), of the year 1803, ap- 
parently, in which she said : 

"I passed last Thursday night at the 
Parsonage. Sarah Ripley and I re- 
mained in the west parlor two hours 
after the family had retired for repose. 
The night was remarkably fine, the air 
clear, and the heavens serene. The 
river had overflowed its banks, and 
presented a little sea to our view; its 
clear surface reflected every surround- 
ing object softened by moonlight. You 
recollect the peculiar beauty of that 
prospect, especially when the river is 
swollen by rains. After contemplating 
it some time with still rapture, mine 
eye settled on the Balm-of-Gilead op- 
posite the window. Perhaps you do 
not remember that tree; 'tis not re- 
markable for its beauty or majesty, 
nevertheless it is to me one of the most 
interesting of inanimate objects; for 
under it I passed an hour the last even- 
ing I spent in Concord with my brother. 
Henry, Sarah, and myself, after stroll- 
ing on the banks of the river, returned, 
and standing beneath the branches of 
the tree, Henry carved our names on 
its trunk. ' Before they are obliterated, ' 
said he, 'we shall meet and renew 
them.' May you, my friend, never 
have the agony of believing that a be- 
ing, dear beyond expression, was sacri- 
ficed for you." 

This meeting of the three was in the 
summer of 1801, after Mary Wilder's 
first marriage, at the age of twenty, to 
a handsome and wealthy French planter 
of Guadaloupe, who died there, soon 
after her brother, in the winter of 
1801-2, leaving his young widow in 
the midst of insurrection and disease. 
She returned to Concord a year after 
leaving it, and lived at her mother's 
house, which had been the Parsonage 
of Rev. Daniel Bliss, until her second 
marriage, to Judge White of Salem, in 
1807. In the interval of her absence, 
her friend Samuel Hoar, the father of 
the Senator, had graduated at Harvard, 
with his classmates, Frisbie and Rock- 
wood, for whom he named two of his 
sons, and had gone to Virginia as a 
tutor of the sons of Colonel Tayloe 

of Mt. Airy, near Richmond. Her 
stepfather, Dr. Isaac Hurd, was the 
chief physician of Concord, and, after 
her period of mourning was over, Mrs. 
Van Schalkwych became the belle of 
the village. Judge Hoar, in his memoir 
of Dr. Hurd, says: 

"Before her first marriage, and dur- 
ing her widowhood, she was the most 
distinguished of all the young ladies of 
Concord for beauty, grace, and spright- 
liness. The fascination of her manners 
and conversation made the hospitable 
mansion of Dr. Hurd a most attractive 
place to the young men of that day; 
and it has come down as a beautiful 
tradition to later times." 

Among her friends and suitors were 
Frisbie and Rockwood, graduates of 
1802, but she married White, a gradu- 
ate of 1797, and lived with him at New- 
buryport till her death in 181 1. But 
among her many female friends, none 
was more important than Mary Emer- 
son, the elder half-sister of Sarah 
Ripley at the Manse. Their friend- 
ship began in 1803, and two years later 
this ardent and eccentric woman was 
described by Mary Wilder as the best 
sick-nurse in the world, — a character in 
which her later friends could hardly 
recognize her. She wrote : 

"There are few offices so delicate 
and so difficult to discharge as that of 
garde-nialade. Mary Emerson pos- 
sesses just the firm decision, the patient 
vigilance, the animating faith, and the 
enlivening vivacity of mind and man- 
ner that fit her for it. I would describe 
the influence of religion on the mind, 
the temper, and the life of this uncom- 
mon woman, — but I despair of doing 
justice to it. My dear Mary 

writes too much like other great people 
to be always legible; and she will not 
be surprised when I acknowledge I 
have not enjoyed the whole of her 
valuable manuscript." 

It was not till after Mrs. White's 
death that Mary Emerson, then living 
in Boston, and taking some care of her 
young nephews, orphaned by their 
father's death, made the acquaintance 
and secured the devotion of Miss Sarah 
Bradford, who afterward became the 
wife of Rev. Samuel Ripley. This 


The Critic 

was in 1809. Long afterward, in 1844, 
Mrs. Ripley said : 

"Mary Emerson, a sister of my hus- 
band, heard of me when I was sixteen, 
as a person devoted to books and a sick 
mother; sought me out in my garret, 
without any introduction, and though 
received at first with sufficient cold- 
ness, did not give up until she had en- 
chained me entirely in her magic circle. 
She was then but thirty-five, she is now 
seventy, and still retains all the oddi- 
ties and enthusiasms of her youth. A 
person at war with society as to all its 
decorums, she eats and drinks what 
others do not, and when they do not; 
dresses in a white robe these October 
days, enters into conversation with 
everybody, and talks on every subject ; 
is sharp as a razor in her satire, and 
sees you through and through in a 
moment. She has read all her life in 
the most miscellaneous way, and her 
appetite for metaphysics is insatiable. 
Alas for the victim in whose intellect 
she sees any promise! Descartes and 
his vortices,. Leibnitz and his monads, 
Spinoza and his Unica Substantia will 
prove it to the core. Notwithstanding 
all this, her power over the minds of 
her young friends was once almost 

When this acquaintance was formed, 
in 1809, Miss Bradford, at sixteen, was 
already versed in Latin, had read 
Homer in Greek, and was venturing 
on Italian and French. To one of her 
schoolmates, the daughter of Rev. Dr. 
Allyn, the witty minister of Duxbury, 
she thus described her new friend: 
"Miss Emerson is a pious and sensible 
woman between thirty and forty years 
of age, — a sister of our minister. She 
was so kind as to make the first ad- 
vances by calling on me; and from her 
society I expect to derive the greatest 
advantages; she appears extremely in- 
tersted in the religious improvement of 
the young." To Mary Emerson her- 
self she used a more enthusiastic style, 
"With every rising dawn your idea is 
associated. The day no longer pre- 
sents in prospect an unvaried tasteless 
round of domestic duties. Bright 
gleams of hope illumine the dull per- 
spective." This enthusiasm was often 

chilled by the harshness of her new 
friend's censure. I know of few mild 
answers more touching than this, after 
one of these occasions of censure: 

"Dear Mary, the severity of your 
remarks drew a few tears, and shed a 
temporary gloom over meditation. But 
you will accuse me of pride again when 
I tell you an emotion succeeded some- 
what like resignation for the loss of 
earthly friendship, at the recollection 
of being amenable alone to a higher 
tribunal, — though just and holy, yet 
infinitely merciful, — where an un- 
guarded expression will not condemn. 
Have I led you to believe I consider 
myself faultless? I am daily conscious 
of much offence in thought, word, and 
deed; but I have not thought it neces- 
sary to pain or disgust you by the re- 
cital of defects I live only in the hope 
of amending. Dearest friend, remem- 
ber that language of reproof much less 
harsh would find its way to the heart 
and conscience of your affectionate 

When I came to know both these 
remarkable women (Mrs. Ripley inti- 
mately), as I did in 1855, Mary Emer- 
son was eighty-one and her friend Sarah 
was sixty-two; but they had retained 
unchanged their earlier characteristics* 
The younger, white-haired but still 
blooming in complexion, and youthful 
in all her sentiments, bore her weight 
of learning — far beyond that of Mar- 
garet Fuller, or any other of her sex in 
New England — with the modesty of a 
school-girl; while her ripened judg- 
ments, formed in the companionship of 
what was most thoughtful, advanced, 
and excellent in a very wide circle of 
friends, were those of experienced age. 
The elder woman had passed into some 
of the deformities of age, and did not 
quite merit that vivid description of her 
which her adopted niece, Miss Hoar, 
gave many years after: "She was a 
little, fair, blue-eyed woman, her face 
never wrinkled, and with a delicate 
pink color when past eighty (she was 
eighty-nine when she left this world), 
— a blue flash in her eyes like the gleam 
of steel, — yellow hair, which, however, 
was cut close, and covered up with a 
black band and a mob-cap." I should 

A Concord Note=Book 


add to this that the band was apt to be 
awry, the expression of her features 
seldom genial, even when she took you 
into favor (as she did Thoreau, actively, 
and myself with more reserve), and 
what Miss Hoar calls "the eccentrici- 
ties and necessities of old age" dis- 
pleased at the first impression. But all 
this could not efface, nor much dis- 
guise, the singular activity of her unique 
mind, the vivacity of her conversation, 
or, when she chose to write well, the 
admirable vigor and point of her epis- 
tolary style. Her nephew Emerson, 
at whose house I first saw her, told me 
more than once that, in her prime, she 
was "the best writer in Massachusetts," 
— the Massachusetts, be it remembered, 
of Channing and Everett, of Bryant, 
Dana, and the North American Review. 
He added in his written sketch of her, 
only published after his death: "Her 
wit was so fertile, and only used to 
strike, that she never used it for dis- 
play, any more than a wasp would 
parade his sting." 

Nothing could be more descriptive 
of this side of her genius. Combined 
with what Emerson called his "fatal 
gift of perception," which was equally 
bestowed upon this aunt, and was an 
Emerson trait, handed down for gen- 
erations, she was anything but an agree- 
able companion and housemate to those 
she did not affect. In a parable her 
nephew declares this, while asserting, 
as he well could, the high, erratic wis- 
dom of her counsels: 

"It is frivolous to ask, 'And was she 
ever a Christian in practice? ' Cassan- 
dra uttered to a frivolous, skeptical 
time, the arcana of the gods; but it is 
easy to believe that Cassandra, domes- 
ticated in a lady's house, would have 
proved a troublesome boarder. Is it 
the less desirable to have the lofty ab- 
stractions, because the abstractionist is 
nervous and irritable? " 

Acting on this disguised wisdom, 
with that prudence in secular matters 
which so distinguished him, Emerson, 
though he loved and venerated this 
aunt, and sometimes had her for a 
visitor, did usually, while I knew her, 
give her a fine room in the old ante- 
Revolutionary farmhouse, now the 

Antiquarian Museum, fifty rods from 
his own hospitable door, — to which, 
also, he often retreated for writing 
when the press of society became too 
great, and to which he sent the heroic 
John Brown of Osawatomie in 1857, 
when entertaining him at his table, for 
conversation. It was in this room that 
the celebrated conversation occurred 
with Mrs. Thoreau, of which Emerson 
makes mention, and which I heard re- 
ported at the time by Sophia Thoreau, 
in her mother's smiling presence. The 
regard Mary Emerson then (1856-57) 
had for the genius and the paradoxes 
of Henry Thoreau — so like and so un- 
like her own — was so marked, and was 
so reciprocated, that Mrs. Thoreau, 
who had known Miss Emerson all her 
Concord days, and sometimes had this 
Cassandra for a boarder, thought it 
proper to call on the lady in her farm- 
house parlor. At that time Mrs. 
Thoreau, who was hard upon sixty, 
had newly set up a cap with long yel- 
low ribbons, which were matched by 
still longer bonnet-ribbons. Donning 
this headgear, and accompanied by 
Sophia, less showily attired, she walked 
to the Deacon Brown house, then 
managed by Mrs. Julia Clark, and was 
shown into the ground-floor room 
where Mary Emerson sat at her book 
of philosophy or religion. As they 
entered and saluted, Miss Emerson 
rose to her full height of four feet three 
inches, responded to the salutation, 
but closed her eyes. The call lasted 
the proper ten minutes, and Henry 
Thoreau was largely the theme. As 
his womankind rose to go, Miss E. also 
rose, and said: "Mrs. Thoreau, you 
may have noticed that while we were 
speaking of your admirable son I kept 
my eyes shut." — "Yes, Madam, I have 
noticed it." — "It was because I did not 
wish to look upon those ribbons of 
yours, so unsuitable at your time of 
life and to a person of your serious 
character." She then bade them fare- 

It was in this room that I called on 
her, and received from her a philo- 
sophical book then in vogue, by Morell, 
which she had read with pleasure, and 
had insisted that Thoreau should read 


The Critic 

and give her his opinion of it. She 
expected the same thing of me. Meet- 
ing her at Mrs. Emerson's tea-table 
soon after, where I was accompanied 
by my sister Sarah (to whom, some 
years after, I was indebted for a for- 
tunate rescue from the hands of kid- 
nappers), I asked how long I might 
keep her book. At the same time she 
criticised to my sister, and quite justly, 
if rather severely, the manners of a re- 
tired sous-lieutenant of Louis Philippe's 
army, who gave lessons in French and 
fencing to myself and some of my 
pupils. In course of the next day, 
I received from her this note, dated 
only "Friday noon," but probably late 
in 1856, which I retain as a sample of 
her handwriting at the age of eighty- 

"SIR, — Keep the book as long as is 
requisite for your full acquaintance. 
My love to your sister, and tell her I 
regret sadly the imprudence I was 
guilty of, .thro' a strange stupidity, in 
speaking of the French Instructor, re- 
specting his manners. I know not the 
least harm of his practice. I beg her 
to forget what I complained of in his 
manners; it was a foolish gossip, for 
which I am willing to make full con- 
fession. And can trust her honor to 
conceal it. 

"With good wishes I am yours, 

"M. M. E. 

"Mr. Sandbum." 

I was present in December, 1858, at 
a conversation of Bronson Alcott's in 
Mrs. Emerson's parlor (Emerson him- 
self being absent, I think, on one of his 
lecturing tours, but represented in his 
own house, as he often was, by Tho- 
reau), when Mary Emerson distin- 
guished herself. Henry James, father 
of the novelist, two of whose sons were 
pupils of mine, was present. Not 
understanding the law of an Alcottian 
conversation, he began and continued 
to show his own wit by perplexing 
the subject with some of his ques- 
tions and witty paradoxes, — much as 
if, at a parlor-wedding, some lively 
damsel should thrust herself into the 
place of the blushing bride. Alcott 

fell into polite silence, and Thoreau, 
while contesting some of James's as- 
sumptions, could not check the flow of 
the semi-Hibernian rhetoric, — in which, 
as Thoreau said afterwards, James 
uttered "quasi philanthropic doctrines 
in a metaphysic dress, but for all prac- 
tical purposes very crude, — charging 
society with all the crime committed, 
and praising the criminal for commit- 
ting it." Miss Emerson heard this with 
rising wrath; but when, finally, James 
spoke repeatedly and scornfully of the 
Moral Law, her patience gave way. 
Rising from her chair at the west side 
of the room, and turning her oddly- 
garnished head toward the south side, 
where the offender smilingly sat, she 
clasped her little wrinkled hands and 
raised them toward the black band over 
her left temple (a habit she had when 
deeply moved), and began her answer 
to these doctrines of Satan, as she 
thought them. She expressed her 
amazement that any man should de- 
nounce the Moral Law, — the only tie 
of society, except religion, to which, 
she saw, the speaker made no claim. 
She referred him to his Bible and to 
Dr. Adam Clarke (one of her great 
authorities from childhood), and she 
denounced him personally in the most 
racy terms. She did not cross the 
room and shake him, as some author, 
not an eye-witness, has fancied, — but 
she retained her position, sat down 
quietly when she had finished, and was 
complimented by the smiling James, 
who then perhaps for the first time had 
felt the force of her untaught rhetoric. 
Reading her letters in 1864, the year 
following her death, Emerson said in 
his journal (as he afterward said to me) : 
"Aunt Mary is a genius always new, 
subtle, frolicsome, unpredictable. All 
your learning, Platonistic, Calvinistic, 
English, or Chinese, would never enable 
you to anticipate one thought or ex- 
pression ; she is embarrassed by no 
Moses or Paul or Shakespeare, after 
whose type she is to fashion her speech. 
Her wit is the wild horse of the desert." 
"Ah," she said, "what a poet Byron 
would have been, if he had been born 
and bred a Calvinist!" — as she had 
been. The first Mrs. Emerson, Ellen 

A Concord Note=Book 


Tucker, was a favorite of hers, and she 
was appreciated by her in turn. In the 
spring of 1829, soon after Emerson was 
installed in his Boston pulpit, Miss 
Tucker went South for the benefit of 
her delicate health, and on the way 
she seems to have been joined by Aunt 
Mary, then probably boarding with 
Rev. Dr. Howard at Springfield. In 
her journal, after mentioning Hartford, 
Miss Tucker wrote: 

We must leave [there] one who seems 
Like a vision in our dreams ; 
She will dwell upon our mind. 
Flesh and blood so well refined, 
That one questions whether death, 
Wasted form, or loss of breath 
Will be in her path to Heaven, — 
All her body seems to glow 
With her spirit's action so. 

I quote this from Dr. Emerson's notes 
(in the Centenary edition) to his father's 
Essay on Mary Emerson. Of the same 
year, 1829, but later in the season, 
was this letter of Waldo Emerson to 
his aunt, which was found by me long 
ago in the mass of family papers at the 
Old Manse, after I had ceased to live 
or visit there much, since the death of 
Mrs. Ripley and the dispersion of her 
household : 

"Boston, Friday, July 31, 1829. 

"My dear Aunt: 

"Pray tell me in letter whether yet 
you are in Concord, and how long you 
will stay, that I may peradventure 
snatch a day and come up. I read, 
with something more of profit than you 
might approve, the almanacs. [These 
were her diaries.] Before you charged 
me not to transcribe, I had copied off 
thus much, which I send. William [an 
elder brother] comes on August 15. 
You must surely stay, that you may 
have seen the whole generation. 

"Ellen [Tucker] writes me every 
other day. She says she mends, but 
decides that I shall not come to see her 
till her mother comes and returns. 
And her mother stays, having been 
sick. I threaten to rebel and go, 
maugre the nurses. 

"I am striving hard to-day to estab- 
lish the sovereignty and self-existent 

excellence of the Moral Law, in popular 
argument, and slay the Utility swine, 
— and so must run. 

"Yours affectionately, 

"R. W. E." 

In other words, the young minister 
in Boston was writing his next Sun- 
day's sermon, which was to maintain 
the sovereignty of Ethics, and scatter 
the forces of the Utilitarians, at the 
time very boisterous in England, and 
perhaps in Boston, which then always 
sneezed when England caught cold. 
When Alcott first heard him in Boston, 
the year before, the subject was the 
Universality of the Notion of Deity, 
such general topics being much in Em- 
erson's line as preacher. Miss Tucker 
was still at the South, and it was then 
that Emerson addressed to her those 
fanciful lines, beginning, 

The green grass is bowing, 

The morning wind is in it ; 
'T is a tune worth thy knowing, 

Though it change every mkiute : 
'T is a tune of the spring, 

Every year plays it over ; 
To the robin on the wing, 

And to the pausing lover. 

The wedding came in September, 
1829, and in a little more than two 
years after, Ellen was dead. Emerson 
gave up his pulpit, went abroad for 
nearly a year, and there made the ac- 
quaintance and secured the lifelong 
friendship of Carlyle. His aunt rather 
frowned on this intimacy, and much 
distrusted Transcendentalism. In Oc- 
tober, 1835, when she had been listen- 
ing to Alcott's exposition of his new 
system of education, based largely on 
the early guidance of children into a 
knowledge of their own minds, she said 
it needed, to understand it, "a more 
composed head than mine, which was 
less composed than usual. " She asked 
Alcott to make it plainer to her. 
"While the form dazzled, — while the 
speaker inspired confidence, — the foun- 
dation of the — the superstructure, 
gilded and golden, was in depths of, 
— I will tell you plainly what, when I 
am furnished more with terms as well 
as principles. No marvel that Age is 


The Critic 

at a loss to express itself about a sys- 
tem, theory, or whatever, which is pro- 
posed for Infancy." Yet she took 
great pride in her Transcendentalist 
nephew, even while repudiating his 

Mary Emerson was not thought at 
first to look with much favor on Miss 
Jackson of Plymouth, who in 1835 be- 
came the second Mrs. Emerson. Soon 
after the marriage she said to her, with 
the acid sweetness that she sometimes 
affected. "You know, Dear, that we 
think you are among us, but not of 
us." In truth, Mrs. Emerson held a 
position in religion midway between 
the gloomy but fading Calvinism of 
Mary Emerson, and the intuitive, ideal 
Theism of her nephew. She valued 
ancient forms, while she welcomed the 
newer and broader light beginning to 
shine through them. She was a stately, 
devoted, independent person, with 
something the air, when I knew her 
(the last forty years of her long life), of 
a lady abbess, relieved of the care of 
her cloister, and given up to her gar- 
den, her reforms, and her unceasing 
hospitalities. She had that regard for 
social observances which Mary Emer- 
son scorned or forgot, — but she could 
free her mind in dissent or reproof with 
an energy that equalled Aunt Mary's, 
though without leaving a barb in the 
wound inflicted. Bronson Alcott, whom 
she knew well, and did not always spare 
in her infrequent censures, — for, like all 
generous natures, she preferred to 
praise or be silent rather than to blame 
in public, — drew her picture in this 
point very well, among those portray- 
ing Sonnets in which so many of his 
friends appear "vively limned," as old 
Marston says. After complimenting 
her for noble companionship, and 
native piety, 

Embosomed in the soul that smiles on Fate, 
Fountain of youth, still sparkling o'er the brim, — 

Alcott goes on: 

Then I recall thy salient quick wit, 

Its arrowy quiver and its supple bow, — 

Huntress of wrong ! right well thy arrows hit, 
Though from the wound thou seest the red drops 
flow : 

I much admire that dexterous archery, 

And pray that sinners may thy target be. 

With many months and even years 
of invalidism, Mrs. Emerson, who was 
born in Plymouth a few months before 
her illustrious husband in Boston, out- 
lived him by ten years, and saw her 
ninetieth birthday before she died, in 
November, 1892. She was a woman 
of excellent New England culture, and 
much practical good sense, for which 
she did not always get full credit; of 
high aims and outflowing goodness of 
heart, showing itself in mercy towards 
all animate things; and of a certain 
susceptibility on the side of the super- 
natural, which might be misunderstood 
by those who knew her but casually. 
She made no claims for herself, though 
strenuous for the causes she espoused; 
but she went on her own intellectual 
and spiritual way, but slightly affected 
by the views of those about her, even 
of such as she loved, — and she hated 
no one. The tribute paid her by Tho- 
reau, after living long under her friendly 
roof, was sincere and deserved. He 
said: "I thank you for your influence 
for two years. I was fortunate to be 
subjected to it, and am now to remem- 
ber it. It is the noblest gift we can 
make ; what signify all others that can 
be bestowed? You have helped to keep 
my life 'on loft,' as Chaucer says of 
Griselda, — and in a better sense. You 
always seemed to look down at me as 
from some elevation, — some of your 
high humilities, — and I was the better 
for having to look up." Along with 
this unassuming loftiness there went 
the considerate and the playful quali- 
ties; and I have often been her partner 
at whist, which I dare say her poet- 
philosopher never was. 

The Venality of Talleyrand 


When, a few years ago, it was 
gravely claimed in a serious American 
magazine that Prince Talleyrand was 
born and bred in Maine, and the son of 
an American, fisher-girl, a few readers 
may have suspected at length the ap- 
pallingly mythical character of many of 
the stories about him. His mother, a 
daughter of the Marquis d'Antigny, 
was not only a very well-known figure 
amongst the nobility of Paris, both be- 
fore and after the Revolution, but was 
receiving a pension of sixty thousand 
francs a year from Talleyrand for some 
time before her death. His father was 
one of the most reputable and distin- 
guished nobles of the court of Louis 
XVI. ; his uncle one of the most vener- 
able among the clergy of the Emigra- 
tion and the Restoration. Not even 
Chateaubriand, the most venomous of 
his royalist enemies, ever breathed a 
suspicion about his title to the historic 
name of Perigord. Yet an American 
writer of repute has feverishly implored 
history to "purge itself" of Talley- 
rand's claim to high and purely French 
parentage by means of the idle chatter 
of a group of Maine fishermen of a 
hundred years ago. 

The truth is that no distinguished 
actor in modern history has been so 
recklessly mythified as the great diplo- 
matist. The biography of Talleyrand 
has generally been constructed on pe- 
culiar lines, and historians and literary 
men have fallen headlong into the 
snare. Professor Sloane, for instance, 
tells us that Talleyrand was, in his 
early clerical days, "a friend of the 
infamous Mine, du Barry, and owed 
his promotion to her." He has a facile 
justification in the fact that almost 
every biographer of Talleyrand, includ- 
ing Lady Blennerhasset, gives without 
reserve the story of his encounter with 
that lady. He is made to reply, when' 
Mme. du Barry rallies him on his pen- 
siveness, that "il est plus aise d'avoir 
des femmes que des abbayes a Paris " ; 
and Louis XV. is said to have rewarded 

him at once with a Rheims abbaye. 
But the date of this conferment, as any 
inquirer could find in the Gazette, is 
September, 1775, or sixteen months 
after the death of Louis XV. and the 
disappearance of Mme. du Barry. The 
locality of the abbaye points obviously 
to the influence of Talleyrand's uncle, 
who was coadjutor to the Archbishop 
of Rheims. The story is a clear fabri- 
cation, and the acquaintance with Mme. 
du Barry wildly improbable. 

With such lack of discrimination has 
the conventional picture of Talleyrand 
been pieced together. His whole career 
has been thickly overlaid with myths. 
This is largely due to the number and 
inventiveness of his enemies. Not 
only the groups of politicians that he 
left behind him when he passed from 
the old regime to the Revolution, from 
the Directorate to Napoleon, from the 
Empire to the Restoration, and from 
the Bourbons to the Orleanists, but 
rival diplomatists, embittered clerics, 
discarded subordinates, and others, 
have contributed to the mosaic. It is 
partly due, also, to the tradition of 
mystification which he somehow left 
behind him. In England and America 
this was not unnatural. When he 
visited London in 1792 and America in 
1794, he was preceded by a reputation. 
One of the gayest figures of pre-revo- 
lutionary days, and hot from the crater 
of the volcano, he was expected to 
dance and gesticulate and emit electric 
phrases. Our grandfathers were not a 
little surprised when they were intro- 
duced to a pale, sedate, stolid-looking 
man, who returned their courtesies very 
briefly, and then fell into an almost 
impenetrable silence. It was known 
that he thawed somewhat in Fox's 
drawing-room, or in the little parlor of 
Moreau-St. Mery's book-shop at Phila- 
delphia, but his general composure, his 
puffy rounded face and full figure, and 
his deep, deliberate, sententious speech 
disconcerted people. A myth of dual- 
ity grew up about him, and it became 



The Critic 

the custom to accept without question 
all that was said of this quiet, grave, 
impassive man with the reputation for 
wit and license. 

Whatever later research has done in 
the way of illumining the general char- 
acter of Talleyrand, it is usually be- 
lieved that the tradition of his singular 
venality has been established. This was 
one of the features that the general his- 
torian, and especially the Napoleonist, 
felt justified in regarding as beyond 
question. ''Never was greed more dis- 
honest than his," says Professor Sloane. 
Now, the judicious biographer would, 
if he felt compelled to use the word 
"greed " at all, rather put that there 
was never greed more honest than his. 
It is true that the historian might fall 
back on Sainte-Beuve. "La venalite 
est la plaie de Talleyrand," says Sainte- 
Beuve, "une plaie hideuse, un chancre 
rongeur et qui envahit le fond." But 
he would discover on careful inquiry 
that Sainte-Beuve professed to have 
a "terrible doubt " about Talleyrand's 
complicity in the death of Mirabeau 
(one of the most frivolous charges ever 
raised) and other matters of the same 
weight. • In this case Sainte-Beuve had 
positive documents to produce, a rare 
opportunity. These papers are the 
letters that the American Government 
published in 1797, and that constitute 
the chief ground of the accusation of 
venality. "They show,'' says Professor 
Sloane, that the French foreign minis- 
ter attempted to "extort a bribe" from 
the American agents. I do not know 
how one extorts "bribes" — in Eng- 
land the language is opposed to it 
whether the law is or no — but will 
briefly examine the American docu- 

The facts are that Adams sent three 
envoys to Paris in 1797 to adjust differ- 
ences with the French Government. 
They were refused an audience, but 
were visited by three men, who were 
undoubtedly Talleyrand's agents, and 
who told them that the doors of the 
Foreign Ministry would be opened if 
they would pay $250,000 "for the Di- 
rectors" and induce their country to 
lend France §6,000,000 on certain bad 
Dutch securities. After some nego- 

tiation on this basis the American 
President recalled his envoys and pub- 
lished their despatches. Even these 
plain facts are sometimes twisted in the 
usual way. The recent Cambridge 
(England) history of the French Revo- 
lution puts it that the agents de- 
manded $250,000 for Talleyrand and 
the $6,000,000 for the Directors! 

Let us keep to the documents. As 
is well known, Talleyrand was at that 
time despotically controlled by Barras, 
the strongest and most corrupt of the 
five Directors. It is certain the bulk 
of the "bribe" would go to Barras; 
probable that he fixed the sum. How- 
ever, I do not stress that. Talleyrand 
would certainly share the money. The 
more important and constantly over- 
looked circumstance is that the Ameri- 
cans were quite willing to pay the 
$250,000, and neither then nor after- 
wards expressed any resentment of it. 
This is made perfectly plain in their 
report. They wrote home that it was 
"according to diplomatic usage," and 
said they "might not so much regard 
a little money, such as he stated to be 
useful." They say, again, that it was 
"completely understood on all sides 
to be required for the officers of Gov- 
ernment, and therefore needing no 
further explanation." There is not a 
whisper of moral indignation so far. 
It was the larger sum, of which Talley- 
rand would not have touched a cent, 
that roused America. This was re- 
garded as a real extortion, a "tribute" 
to France, and was met with even war- 
like preparations. 

It is needless here to discuss Talley- 
rand's (supposing that the blunder was 
his and not Barras's) unwisdom in try- 
ing to make this audacious bargain for 
his country. It is enough to note that 
the whole of the resentment was di- 
rected against a proposal which meant 
no profit to himself. Later writers 
have confounded the two, as some did 
in France at the time. But so little 
serious notice was taken of the matter 
at Paris that when Talleyrand resigned 
(on quite other grounds) in the follow- 
ing year, and wrote the only apologia 
of his life, he dismissed this subject in 
two lines. Professor Sloane thinks he 

The Venality of Talleyrand 


was forced to resign "in consequence 
of his scandalous attempt to extort a 
bribe from the American envoys." 
He might have quoted Napoleon as his 
authority — his only authority — but he 
probably recollected that the ex-em- 
peror's charges against people at St. 
Helena are not weighty. The resigna- 
tion came long after the affair, and had 
no connection with it. Half the rheto- 
ric expended on it would have been 
arrested by a patient reading of the 
official American version. 

This affair is almost the only one in 
which we have authentic evidence of an 
attempt to extort money on the part of 
Talleyrand. It does not exhibit his 
character in an attractive light, but we 
may keep some sense of proportion, 
and not speak of "hideous sores" and 
"devouring cancers." Apart from the 
peculiar circumstances in which Talley- 
rand then was, he saw money offered 
and accepted on all sides. He had 
seen Mirabeau and Danton in the pay 
of the Court. He was to see Sieyes, 
who was so admirably indignant with 
him, take 400,000 francs from Napoleon 
on the 18th Brumaire. He was himself 
to pay out money to foreign ministers 
under the empire, and see Joseph Bona- 
parte bring bags of diamonds from Por- 
tugal. He had seen Pitt willing to give 
a secret commission of 10, 500,000 francs 
during the Lille negotiations, but ex- 
press moral indignation when a much 
larger sum was asked. Malmesbury 
had tried on his own account to buy 
the note of one of the Directors. Com- 
missions were then common and were 
commonly exaggerated. Talleyrand 
was exceptional mainly in his oppor- 
tunities; and in the fact that, as Baron 
von Gogern indulgently says, "he pre- 
ferred to be paid in coin rather than with 
the usual presents and brilliants." And 
we must remember that it is quite un- 
known how far he was acting under the 
instructions of Barras. There is no 
other case in which he is known to 
have exacted beforehand, or stipulated 
for, a sum of money for a service to be 
done. In such an exceptional case we 
have a right to suspect the action of 

The second serious authority that 

Sainte-Beuve appeals to is Count von 
Senfft. The Saxon envoy at Paris was 
a friend and admirer of Talleyrand, so 
that his testimony is impartial. But 
here again Talleyrand's critics snap up 
the first word of accusation too eagerly. 
Senfft says that his Government gave 
Talleyrand a million francs in 1807 (at 
the same time giving half a million to 
a minor French official), and there is no 
need to doubt this. He also says, 
however, that Talleyrand made a good 
deal out of the Rhine Confederation, 
and used Baron von Gogern "in his 
financial relations with the German 
princes." Here we have another in- 
stance of the mere retailing of gossip. 
We turn to Von Gogern ("Mein Antheil 
an der Politik"), and we find him 
solemnly assuring us that, though he 
believes Talleyrand did make a lot of 
money somehow, "not a single bargain, 
or condition, or offer was made, either 
directly or indirectly, in regard to the 
Nassau and the many other princes 
that he admitted into the Rhine Con- 
federation. ' ' Such are the foundations 
of this charge of phenomenally "dis- 
honest greed." 

For, after the American letters and 
the statements of Senfft, Sainte-Beuve 
has nothing but on-dits to offer in jus- 
tification of his violent language. To 
quote Chateaubriand is hardly more 
scholarly than to quote the exiled Na- 
poleon. When a friend gave Talley- 
rand a long account of the plot of 
Les Martyrs, ending with the remark 
that the heroes were eventually cast 
anx betes, Talleyrand promptly ejacu- 
lated: Comme T ouvrage. Chateaubriand 
smarted under many such quips, 
besides his bitter resentment of Tal- 
leyrand's political versatility. He is 
hardly likely to have been scrupulous 
in reproducing the rumors that were 
current in Royalist circles. Sainte- 
Beuve tells us that Talleyrand himself 
estimated at sixty millions the sum 
he had made in commissions during his 
diplomatic career. He does not tell 
us when and where the admission was 
made. It may have been in one of the 
spurious letters with which discharged 
secretaries entertained an unexacting 
public. Finally, when Sainte-Beuve 

6 4 

The Critic 

adduces Governor Morris as an author- 
ity he is trifling with us. Morris merely 
mentions the persistent rumor of 
Talleyrand's heavy gambling to dis- 
miss it as " greatly exaggerated, if not 

The case does not grow much 
stronger when we go from Sainte- 
Beuve to Bastide, another favorite of 
the critics. Bastide's work (one of 
the earliest biographies of Talleyrand) 
is an amusingly reckless tissue of gallant 
adventures and dark crimes. When 
he comes to deal with Talleyrand's 
venality, he quotes especially from a 
pseudonymous document of 1799, 
which ends with the charge that Talley- 
rand has by his immorality "outraged 
the morals of Republican France." 
Those who are acquainted with the 
morals of Paris under the Directorate 
will appreciate the indignation. From 
this judicious source Bastide gathers a 
number of definite charges of corrup- 
tion. He has said that Talleyrand 
made thirty millions during the Direc- 
torate, but his specific charges only 
amount in all to fourteen millions and 
a half. And the list is too absurd for 
words. It includes $1 , 500,000 made by 
speculation on the Bourse during the 
Lille negotiations, and $2,000,000 as a 
share in the spoiling of neutral vessels 
by French pirates. The latter item 
may have grown out of the fact that 
during the American War of Independ- 
ence, Talleyrand had, like most other 
Frenchmen with money, fitted out a 
privateer to raid British ships; but it 
does not appear that he made any 
profit. The list further includes 
amongst its chief items $1,000,000 
received from Austria for securing the 
secret articles in the Treaty of Campo 
Formio (with which Talleyrand had 
absolutely nothing to do) and $1,000,- 
000 for betraying these to Prussia. 
There may be some truth in a few of 
Bastide's smaller items, but from so 
tainted a source no responsible bio- 
grapher would attempt to derive infor- 

A third and much more respectable 
biographer is Michaud, the most im- 
posing of Talleyrand's critics. Like 
Sainte-Beuve, Michaud makes no at- 

tempt to conceal his intense dislike of 
the diplomatist, and is betrayed over 
and over again into the admission of 
stories that we now know to be 
' anachronistic or otherwise disproved. 
Lady Blennerhassett has shown the 
incredibility of his statement (on no 
authority whatever) that Talleyrand 
concealed from Spain the fact of Na- 
poleon having reduced its subsidy, and 
pocketed the difference (12,000,000 
francs) for two years. In fact, Michaud 
contradicts himself, saying later on 
that the fact was only concealed for 
a few months. The whole story is 
grossly improbable, and entirely with- 
out support from the Spanish side. It 
is, as usual, a blank on-dit. Michaud 
also quotes one of Napoleon's angry 
allusions to Talleyrand at St. Helena, 
in which the Minister is said to have re- 
ceived $400,000 from the merchants of 
Genoa. The whole passage is a string 
of untruths and distortions. It opens 
with a denunciation of Talleyrand's 
marriage as "a triumph of immoral- 
ity." The marriage had only been 
performed under compulsion from 
Napoleon himself. Talleyrand was 
theologian enough to know that the 
fact of the Pope secularizing him did 
not make free to marry. Moreover, 
Napoleon must have known well that 
Mme. Grand was not a wife, but a 
diW&ee. Any evidence has been 
thought good enough to hang Talley- 
rand on. Michaud's other stories do 
not prove that Talleyrand received a 

Thus we find ourselves floating 
amongst a mass of contradictory and 
elusive rumors the moment we attempt 
to analyze the evidence for Talley- 
rand's "corruption.'' Specific charges 
take Protean shapes and slip away from 
us. One writer affirms dogmatically 
that Talleyrand made $3,000,000 out 
of the treaty with Portugal; the eager 
Bastide reduces the sum to $1,200,000; 
and Michaud is merely sure that Talley- 
rand made something out of that trans- 
action. Senfft refers us to Gogern for 
an account of the sums he made out of 
the Rhine Confederation ; Gogern de- 
nies that any money passed between 
Talleyrand and himself, but knows that 

The Venality of Talleyrand 


the diplomatist made money some- 
where. Professor Sloane opines that 
Talleyrand was in the pay of Napoleon 
from the first; Lady Blennerhassett 
finds that, when Napoleon sailed for 
Egypt, Talleyrand gave him 100,000 
francs. The contradictions are enor- 

Are we to suppose, then, that there 
was little or no ground for the charge 
of venality? By no means. The pri- 
vate fortune of Talleyrand would be 
unintelligible unless we assume that he 
received large sums of money in addi- 
tion to his official salary. He returned 
from America in 1796 almost penniless. 
He held office under the impoverished 
Directorate for one year, was again idle 
for a year, and resumed the foreign 
ministry under Napoleon at the end of 
1799. He told the Prussian ambas- 
sador that he intended to make money. 
He had a large establishment to keep 
up, and was habitually generous with 
money. One remembers the story of 
his curling a young lady's hair at the 
foreign office with thousand - franc 
notes. He was foreign minister under 
Napoleon for seven years only, yet 
contrived to entertain on the most 
splendid scale at his hotel and at 
Neuilly. It is true that he spent or 
gave away all he got. The loss of a 
million francs in 1812 forced him to 
sell his hotel and its furniture. *-*4ie 
sent money to emigrant clergy (wro 
had violently denounced him), pro- 
vided generously for friends and rela- 
tives, gave his mother a yearly pension 
of 60,000 francs. However, on the 
whole, we must agree with Lytton that 
his expenditure was far beyond his 
ordinary income. In the treaties and 
negotiations with which he followed up 
the victories of Napoleon he probably 
received generous cadeanx. Consider 
his extraordinary opportunities! After 
Marengo he had to negotiate treaties 
with Austria, England, Prussia, Tur- 
key, Bavaria, and Tunis, and give con- 
stitutions to Lucca, Genoa, Piedmont, 
Switzerland, and Elba. After Aus- 
terlitz he had an even larger mass of 
negotiations; his hotel was besieged 
with the representatives of fifteen 
sovereigns, and even the ambassadors 

of Prussia and Austria were noticed 
playing with his adopted daughter and 
her lap-dog. At Vienna he was the 
acknowledged champion of the smaller 
states against the larger ones that were 
ready to devour them. 

There can be no doubt that he re- 
ceived money, a vast amount of money 
in all, from the states that profited by 
his diplomatic arrangements. But let 
us be just to him. He was never 
known to sell the interest of France or 
any humane cause. "He could never 
be induced," says Senfft, "even from the 
most powerful motives of interest, to 
favor plans that he regarded as pre- 
judicial to the peace of Europe." At 
one time the Poles put four million 
florins in the hands of his friend, Baron 
Dalberg. Talleyrand refused to further 
their cause on the ground that it en- 
dangered the peace of Europe, and re- 
turned the money. Senfft also points 
out that his opposition to Napoleon's 
schemes at the height of his power is a 
proof of something very different from 
what we usually call venality. "The 
opinion he pronounced on the Spanish 
business, bringing a fresh disgrace upon 
him, will give him a glorious place in 
history for ever." Baron von Gogern 
says: "He sought first the honor and 
glory of France and after that the 
peace of the earth." As to his com- 
missions the baron caustically observes 
that "die Magnaten eines Eroberers 
werden wahrscheinlich immer so den- 
ken." He tells, too, how at Warsaw 
Talleyrand once privately saved a Ger- 
man house from the vengeance of Na- 
poleon, and refused to take a franc for 
his action. After the Hundred Days 
he gave away 459,000 francs, and pass- 
ports to all who asked, so that Na- 
poleonists might get away. Napoleon 
had rewarded him with the principality 
of Benevento. Here was an oppor- 
tunity for a corrupt and greedy man. 
But it is clear from Demaria's "Bene- 
vento sotto il Principe Talleyrand" 
that his rule was one prolonged and 
unselfish effort at reform through a 
wisely chosen representative. 

Talleyrand did not know what devo- 
tion to a personality, or a cause em- 
bodied in a personality, was. The 

1 66 

The Critic 

scandalous neglect of him by his family 
in early years on account of his lame- 
ness, their forcing him into the ecclesi- 
astical sphere against which he had a 
natural repugnance, and his experience 
of the eighteenth-century Church from 
within, had brought about an atrophy 
of that faculty. Let us remember, too, 
that the personalities he was accused 
of deserting were Louis XVI., Barras, 
Napoleon, and Charles X. It is amply 
proved to-day that he was a sincere and 
enlightened liberal statesman a sincere 
patriot, and a sincere humanitarian. 
He deserted Napoleon deliberately in 
the hour of triumph on humanitarian 
and patriotic grounds. It is true that 

he sought to make money out of his 
position as minister of his country, in a 
degree that betrays some cynicism. It 
is equally certain that he was never 
bought, or bribed, or corrupted to be- 
tray the just interest of his country or 
wantonly to sacrifice the peace of any 
nation. He took in each case the 
diplomatic course that it was his duty 
to take; and then he claimed or re- 
ceived money from any state or indi- 
vidual that benefited by his course. 
He was not a great man. But he was 
something very different from the 
caricature that is still apt to disfigure 
the pages of historians. 

Journalism the Destroyer of Literature 


The interest we feel in wealth, as 
wealth merely, seems to have been in- 
creasing of late years; in every part of 
civilized life it is more or less manifest. 
Immense fortunes are still something 
of a novelty, and are managed awk- 
wardly ; and in various ways they create 
social unrest. The dollar is an un- 
human thing, unindividual, unspiritual ; 
it bestows power upon whomsoever has 
it, without regard to his personal virtues 
or frailties, gifts or vices; it gives 
ability to do and get things, but not 
to enjoy them. It may bring you 
death or life, and yet nothing could be 
more material. If we covet it over- 
much, we incur a loss which no amount 
of dollars can "liquidate. 

Oliver Wendell Holmes, speaking 
through the mouth of his "Autocrat," 
utters playfully a philosophic truth 
when he says that the House of Man is 
built in several stories, each of which, 
in different moods and seasons, the 
man occupies. There is the material 
story, or plane of existence, the intel- 
lectual, the spiritual. Each has its 
indispensable function ; but if we dwell 
exclusively in the lower, the higher 
become closed against us; the right 
order, which alone keeps all open and 
active, is to live from the higher 

through the lower; the reverse way. 
proves impracticable. These several 
planes are not continuous, like greater 
or less, but are distinct, like cause and 
effect, — the mental impulse, for ex- 
ample, which causes a capitalist to cor- 
ner a stock, sends a bullet through the 
brain of a man ruined thereby. Evi- 
dently, so far as society seeks wealth 
above other things, it shuts itself up in 
the lower planes, and shuts out the 
higher, or spiritual. 

Wherever society abides, it uses a 
mode of speech proper to its state ; and 
the mode of speech of the material 
plane is the newspaper. The character- 
istic utterance of the spiritual plane, 
on the other hand, is literature. But, 
owing to our unspirituality, literature 
for the time being languishes. Journal- 
ism, the lower voice, attempts to coun- 
terfeit the tones of the higher, but the 
result is counterfeit. So long as jour- 
nalism attends to its own (material) 
business, it is not only harmless, but 
useful ; but as soon as it would usurp 
what is organically above it, it becomes 
hurtful; not only because it does not 
give us what it pretends to give, but 
because the plausibility of that pretence 
may lead us to accept it as genuine, 
and thus atrophy the faculties whereby 

Journalism the Destroyer of Literature 


literature, the true voice of the spir- 
itual, is apprehended. Let us more 
closely examine this predicament in 
which we find ourselves. 

The newspaper is splendidly offi- 
cered, sagaciously managed, admirably 
done. It properly aims to tell the 
daily story of the material side of life. 
Never had it more influence than now; 
but this influence is no longer due — as 
in the old times of the London Times, 
and of Horace Greeley, and others — to 
editorial comment upon or interpreta- 
tion of news, but to the news-columns 
themselves. The effect upon readers 
of this chronicle of our material condi- 
tion and activities is insensible, or sub- 
conscious; but it leaves its trace on 
every aspect of civilized existence. 
And reciprocally, the reading com- 
munity affects the tone of the thing it 
reads; we would not have such news- 
papers were we not such a public, any 
more than we could be such a public 
did we not have such newspapers. 
We are devoted to industry, com- 
merce, trade, finance, and their corol- 
laries ; our government betrays a 
tendency to become one of the people, 
by and for capitalists. Our practical 
measure of a man is the degree of his 
material success; and it is accordingly 
the tale of success and failure, and of 
the conditions thereto appertaining, 
that the newspaper mainly imparts. 
Its spell is in the thing told, not in the 
manner of its telling, which — save for 
the perfunctory accentuations of politi- 
cal partisanship and the dribblings of 
sentimentality — are presented as naked 
facts, and nothing more. For the 
newspaper, as a business enterprise, 
must avoid antagonisms with its vast 
and mixed audience; impassioned 
newspapers, however virtuous, being 
short-lived and of restricted circulation. 
The news — adorned with what photo- 
graphs and head-lines you will — but 
the news free from dogmatism, bias, 
and the personal equation, is what the 
reader wants; and so arranged that he 
may readily pick out what happens 
chiefly to concern him, and skip the 

Now all this, useful in its own de- 
gree as it is, obviously involves no 

appeal to the spiritual affiliations of 
man, — carries no message to his soul. 
Yet so general and profuse is the dis- 
tribution of the newspaper that a large 
part of the public reads nothing else, 
or what else it does read is (as we shall 
presently see) infected with the news- 
paper principle. The persistent reflec- 
tion of the lower side of life, which the 
newspaper's mirror shows, gradually 
induces the reader to accept it as the 
whole of life, — prone as at best we are 
to ignore our higher selves, — with the 
result that heart and soul are atrophied, 
as aforesaid, and we are landed in a 
blank materialism. 

But is not the newspaper an educa- 
tional force? — does it not broaden a 
man, remove his prejudice, and abate 
his provincialism? — is it not a sort of 
university of general knowledge? If 
we catechize a graduate of this univer- 
sity, the result is not reassuring. The 
area of his available information is, 
indeed, unrestricted ; but he is also free 
to select from it only what he fancies, 
and these are items which tend to in- 
flame, rather than to dissipate, his 
provincialism and prejudices. Find- 
ing, too, so many things apparently 
incompatible offered for his belief, he 
ends by drifting into scepticism ; while 
his sympathies are bankrupted by the 
very multitude of the appeals to them. 
Thus he acquires an indifferentism 
which is rather that of impotence than 
of philosophy; for the indifference of 
the philosopher is due either to faith 
in a state of being purer than the 
earthly, or else to a noble superiority 
to destiny; whereas the mind of the 
newspaper graduate has simply lost 
virility. Instead of mastery of mar- 
shalled truths, he exhibits a dim ag- 
glomeration of half-remembered or 
mis-remembered facts; and because the 
things he cares to read in his newspaper 
are few compared with those he skips, 
he has lost the faculty of fixing his full 
attention upon anything. His moral 
stamina has been assailed by the end- 
less procession of crimes and criminals 
that deploys before him, often in at- 
tractive guise; and as for ideals, he 
may choose between those of the stock 
exchange, and of State legislatures. 


The Critic 

Our Harvards and Yales may have 
their shortcomings, but they need not 
fear the rivalry of Newspaper-Row. 

Yet we may admit that the chief 
danger of the newspaper to the public 
mind is its technical excellence. Its 
stories of a day are not only well printed 
and illustrated, but they are well writ- 
ten, — terse, clear, strong, and to the 
point ; and not only have men grounded 
in journalism written good books, but 
in two recent instances at least a jour- 
nalist has risen to the highest rank in 
literature. On the other hand, men of 
established literary standing contribute 
special articles to newspapers; and war 
correspondents have won a niche in the 
temple of fame, nor is it any fault of 
theirs that Manchuria has not bright- 
ened their renown. But if, by such 
means, waifs of literature be occasion- 
ally dragged neck-and-heels into a place 
where they do not belong, so much 
the worse for literature, and for the 
community thereby led to accept this 
abnormal miscegenation for a legitimate 

Consider for a moment that literature 
is writing which is as readable and 
valuable to-day as it was a hundred or 
a thousand years ago, — a longevity 
which it owes to a quality just the op- 
posite of that essential to journalism ; 
that is, it lives not by reason of what it 
says, so much as of the manner of the 
saying. It is nature and life passed 
through a human mind and tinged with 
his mood and personality. It is warmed 
by his emotion and modified by his 
limitations. The emotion, while catho- 
lic and sympathetic, is also always in- 
dividual; no one else ever felt or could 
feel precisely as this writer feels, though 
no reader but recognizes the feeling. 
Personal, likewise, are the limitations, 
due to the make and circumstance of 
his intellect and to the nature of the 
report to him of his senses. Any given 
work of literature is therefore unique, 
and, implicitly, sincere. It is a pro- 
duct not simple, but complex; not 
crudely put forth, but digested, as- 
similated, made part of the writer, 
given his stamp, signature, history, 
and heredity ; not till then does it ap- 
pear on his page. Like nature and 

man, consequently, literature has an 
inward beneath the outward — a spirit 
within the letter; when you have read 
the words for the first time and seized 
their obvious meaning, you have not 
exhausted their message, or received 
the best part of it. Returning to it 
after an interval, you discover some- 
thing that had at first escaped you; as 
your mood or degree of insight varies, 
so will fresh secrets disclose themselves. 
There are recesses within recesses, 
secret springs, something alive; and 
withal there is unity — the wholeness 
and symmetry of art. 

The highest literature is that of im- 
agination, though much true literature 
is not strictly imaginative, — Aristotle 
and Huxley, though not on Homer's 
or Shakespeare's level, wrote literature. 
Imagination is of all gifts the most 
human and mysterious; being in touch 
with the infinite in finite man, it is 
creative. Fact is transfigured by it, 
and truth humanized; though it is not 
so much as based upon invention, 
fancy may be its forerunner. Like all 
creative impulses, it is suffused with 
emotion, — with passion even, — but 
under control; the soul is at the helm. 
Imagination moulds and launches a 
new world, but its laws are the same as 
those of the world we know ; it presents 
scenes of enchantment earth cannot 
rival, but laid in truth and wrought in 
reason, — transcending, but not contra- 
dicting what we call reality. The 
writer of imagination questions not 
whether his writing be true, — he knows 
its truth with a certainty transcending 
argument, feels himself the very instru- 
ment of verity, marches with nature 
and revelation at once, rhymes with 
them, and is conscious of the weight, 
might, and lift of their forces. He is 
as sure of his subject as of his own 
being, and never more keenly than 
when his sensible toil and pain are 
greatest, does he know the creative 
delight which is o( the soul only. But 
the endowment is rare; implying inde- 
pendence or privacy of mind, a self- 
confidence that for the moment fears 
no criticism, and rises into oblivion of 
outward things. Moreover, works of 
true imagination often show a beautiful 

Journalism the Destroyer of Literature 


provincialism, as of one dwelling re- 
mote from the knowingness and com- 
monness of current experience, who 
eschews the roaring market-place of 
multitudinous information, and with- 
draws to solitudes where appear to him 
the pure and vital sources only of life. 
These, after his own fashion, he pores 
over and uses, not conformably with 
vulgar sagacity, but under the light of 
his own wisdom. Thus we often find a 
wondrous simplicity and naivete in the 
greatest imaginative work, — a sort of 
village flavor; which brings home to us 
humiliatingly but salutarily the tinkle 
and tinsel of our super-serviceable 

Not all of these qualities are always 
present even in good literature, but the 
personal and the emotional always are, 
abiding even in the noble edifice of 
Bacon's "Essays," and in the quiet 
seriousness of Darwin's walk. On the 
other hand, though intelligence con- 
stantly shines on its path, not even the 
highest specific achievement of intellect 
can of itself be literature, since the 
greater the purity of intellect, the less 
is it individual, and its finest attain- 
ments are, as time passes, discounted 
or modified. Literature has its play- 
grounds, too, where it disports itself 
lightsomely as a child, but a child 
whose eyes sparkle with divinity that 
may at any moment bring to our own 
tears as well as laughter. Or it may 
seem preoccupied with sober descrip- 
tions of people and things; but in the 
midst of them we find ourselves subtly 
drawn toward magic casements, where- 
from, beyond boundaries of mortal 
vision, we behold the lights and 
shadows, the music and the mystery 
of fairy-land. 

In all this, what is there congenial 
with bright, hard, impersonal, business- 
like, matter-of-fact journalism? Of 
course, it is physically possible to print 
in a newspaper (on the page which 
nobody looks at till after all the rest of 
them have been sampled) KeatsVOde 
to a Nightingale," or a reprint, by kind 
permission of the publishers, of, let us 
say, Kipling's "They." It is physi- 
cally possible thereupon to open our 
mouths and affirm, "The newspaper is 

a 'literary medium,' as well as a news- 
purveyor ; and what more do we need ? " 
Yes, we may go through the motions 
of harnessing Pegasus to a market- 
garden cart, and call the result a team; 
but Pegasus will not stay harnessed ; 
out sweep those mighty pinions of his, 
and yonder he plunges into that fleecy 
cloud, aloft in the blue. He does not 
belong on the market-garden plane, 
and was not really there even when we 
were fastening the traces. Keats's 
Nightingale cannot be made to sing 
cheek by jowl with a soap advertise- 
ment, in the gas-light glare of Miss 
Makeup's Advice to the Love-lorn. 
Violently to bring these things to- 
gether is not to unite them, though it 
is profanation ; and the fate of the pro- 
faner is to lose his power of ever seeing 
the sunlit summits of the Delectable 
Mountains at all. In his spiritually 
blind state, it is given him to enjoy as 
supernal truths the artfully painted 
frescoes on the walls and ceiling of his 
St. Regis palm-room. They are hand- 
painted, and they cost money. 

No; what lives in literature, dies in 
journalism, — the individual touch, the 
deeps of feeling, the second sight. But 
if not in newspapers, can we not find in 
magazines and weeklies the benediction 
of true literature? This brings me 
back to what I was saying just now 
about reading-matter which, though 
not journalism, has been infected by it. 

The original magazine was what its 
name implies — a place for the storing 
of treasure — in this case, of a literary 
sort. Such were the English Gentle- 
man's, Chambers's, Bentley s, and our 
own Graham 's, Putnam 's, and Harper's. 
The editing of these periodicals con- 
sisted merely in collecting and binding 
together a number of papers, stories 
and essays, of such goodness or bad- 
ness as might be obtainable, and with 
no pretence of sorting them or har- 
monizing them into anything like a 
coherent organism. They were inno- 
cent of illustrations and of advertise- 
ments; there was not much money in 
them, or paid out by them ; even 
Dickens's magazines would have been 
considered niggardly nowadays. But 
they did afford a mouthpiece for real 


The Critic 

writers, and not a few real literary- 
treasures have first seen the light in 
their pages. But the modern concep- 
tion of magazine editing began, per- 
haps, with the Atlantic, and rose to 
what it is to-day. It is a conception 
of a complex sort. 

The editor has to keep before his 
mind the following things, — his read- 
ers, his illustrators, his writers, his 
advertisers. The first make the mare 
go; the second co-operate with the 
first, and are really the occasion of 
them; the third give the first encour- 
agement in their good work, and ap- 
pease the indifference which the second 
may feel toward the efforts of the 
fourth, who bring up the rear as hand- 
somely as they may. There is nothing 
artificial in this situation; if the maga- 
zine was to exist, thus must the ele- 
ments arrange themselves. The humor 
of the thing is that the writers, who 
actually come last in consideration, are 
theoretically first, and illustrators, 
readers, advertisers, editor, and maga- 
zine altogether, dance attendance upon 
them. Certainly, without their con- 
tributions the magazine could not exist 
except as the avowed picture-book, 
which, practically, it now is. The 
editor and the readers, again, are 
obviously created by the prior existence 
of reading-matter; while the advertiser 
advertises because the sale of the read- 
ing-matter (with illustrations) enables 
him, by its circulation, to reach buyers. 
It may also be true that many persons 
buy magazines mainly for the pleasure 
and profit which they derive from the 
advertisements; but that is a side- 
issue. And the fact remains, that an 
article which can serve as a pretext for 
illustrations has a better chance of 
being seen by the world than one which 
cannot; in other words, literature, qua 
literature, is not, from the point of 
view of the business-office, and, im- 
plicitly, of the editor, the feature of 
the periodical most vital to its success. 
And if it be objected that this cannot 
be the case in magazines which are not 
illustrated, we are brought to another 
of the complications which modern 
editing involves. 

The editor, with respect to his liter- 

ary material, must consider two things; 
the first being whether any given con- 
tribution is up to the literary standard 
(whatever it may be) of the particular 
magazine for which he is responsible. 
This standard is, of course, fixed by the 
taste of the class of readers which 
the magazine is supposed to address; 
the article must not be either above or 
below their heads, or alien from their 
sympathies, or offensive to their moral 
or other prejudices, — and there are 
other considerations too obvious to 
mention. But, having made the best 
guess he can on these points, the editor 
cannot wholly ignore his individual 
preferences; or even should he succeed 
in so doing in some special instance, 
yet in the long run his personal equa- 
tion will betray its influence. 

But this is not the only or the chief 
element in the case; for, in the second 
place, the editor must determine 
whether the article, being otherwise 
satisfactory, will harmonize with the 
other contents of the issue of the maga- 
zine in which it is to appear. His as- 
sumption is — and has to be — that the 
magazine will be read through by its 
purchaser from the first page to the 
last; and his artistic instinct, as an 
editor, demands that there shall be in 
its pages such a compromise between 
variety and unity as shall produce upon 
the reader's mind an effect at once 
stimulating and satisfying. This is 
necessarily a matter in which no tech- 
nical merit in a volunteer contribution 
can have weight. Suppose the contri- 
bution to be a signal work of genius, 
and therefore intrinsically most desir- 
able, — its very brilliance will make the 
rest of the magazine look like blank 
pages,and the editor must consequently 
reject it. And the better — the more 
conscientious — the editor is, the more 
will he feel bound to turn back what 
is good, because it happens not to be 
the kind or the degree of good that 
matches with the rest of his product. 
In the interest of the artistic propor- 
tions of the magazine, he shuts his 
door against the artistic excellence of 
the writer. Of course this difficulty 
may be avoided if the editor have 
ordered from the writer the kind of 

Journalism the Destroyer of Literature 


article he wants; and this is often 
done; but there remains the drawback 
that an ordered article is apt not to turn 
out to be literature. Every other merit 
may be preserved ; but the literary 
touch — that, somehow, has vanished. 
The Muse would not come to terms. 

Even in an un-illustrated magazine, 
therefore, literature cannot count upon 
a welcome. No doubt there comes 
now and then a genius, favored both 
by nature and by destiny, who over- 
rides all rules, and introduces a new 
era; but we must regard the average 
lot. And there is still another stumb- 
ling-block in literature's path, which 
brings us round once more to the influ- 
ence upon literature of the newspaper. 

The newspaper is the characteristic 
voice of the age; and the age cannot 
have two characteristic voices. And 
the success of the newspaper, its enter- 
prise, its dashing invasion of fields 
beyond its legitimate sphere, have 
compelled the magazines, each in a 
greater or less degree, so to modify 
their contents as to meet this novel 
rivalry. They try to handle "timely" 
subjects, to treat topics of the day, to 
discuss burning questions. Such things 
are impossible to the literary spirit; 
but writers are not lacking, and their 
work is often masterly — on its own 
plane, which is that of the newspaper. 
Important uses are served ; but they are 
not literary uses. Fiction does not 
escape the infection ; the class of stories 
which is upon the whole most accept- 
able in magazines has to do with cur- 
rent domestic and social problems, and 
with the dramas and intrigues of busi- 
ness. The interest is sustained, the 
detail is vividly realistic, the characters 
are such as you meet everywhere, the 
whole handling is alert, smart, telling, 
up-to-date; — but where are the per- 
sonal touch, the atmosphere, the deep 
beneath deep of feeling, the second 
sight, the light that never was, on sea 
or land, the consecration, and the 
poet's dream? What has literature to 
do with these clever stories? You may 
read the entire contents of a magazine, 
and all the articles seem to have been 
the work of the same hand, with slight 
variations of mood; and next week, 

how many of them all remain distinct 
in your memory? The market-garden 
cart has come to market, drawn by neat 
and serviceable nags; but Pegasus is 
aloft yonder above the clouds, where 
he belongs. Everybody can write 
nowadays; but the literary geniuses 
are as rare as ever, and never before 
had such difficulty in getting a hearing. 
The newspaper spirit has banished 
them, and has closed above us the 
gates of the spiritual plane. 

The reason we are not producing 
literature is that we are preoccupied 
with other matters, and do not want it. 
But whether or not we want it, we 
need it profoundly; and the inevitable 
swing of the pendulum will bring it 
back in due season. There are already 
symptoms, if one will give heed to 
them, of discontent with the dollar as 
the arbiter of human life, of weariness 
of wars of traders, both on the floor of 
'change, where the dead are suicides, 
and on the field of battle, where Japan- 
ese and Russian peasants kill one 
another in behalf of rival pawnbrokers. 
There is a longing to re-establish 
humanity among bfuman beings, both 
in their private and their public rela- 
tions; to turn from the illusion of fres- 
coed and electric-lighted palm-rooms, 
and to open our eyes again to the 
Delectable Mountains, with their sun 
and moon and stars. The premonitions 
of such a change are perceptible; and, 
along with them, a timid putting forth, 
here and there, like early spring buds 
upon the bare boughs of winter, of 
essays, sometimes in fiction, sometimes 
otherwise, which possess quite a fresh 
aroma of the spiritual genius. Some 
of them arrive from over seas, some are 
of native culture. They are at the polar 
extreme from the newspaper fashion, 
and for that reason the more significant. 
They have a strange, gentle power, 
which many feel without understand- 
ing it, and love they know not why. 
These may be the harbingers of a new 
and pure literature, free and unpre- 
cedented, emancipated both from the 
traditions of the past and from the im- 
prisonment of the present. Man can- 
not help himself, but is succored from 

Women and the Unpleasant Novel 

Author of "The Pioneer," etc. 

A SHORT time ago a writer in the 
literary department of a London pa- 
per made the bold assertion that "the 
most unpleasant books were written by 
women and their readers were princi- 
pally among women." 

It was an accusation that possessed 
enough of truthfulness to give it sting. 
The vitriolic quality bit sufficiently 
deep to call out a retort here and there, 
denials from one of the accused or an 
anonymous partisan, and assent from 
those who, though they thought the 
matter written by lady novelists was 
often of a hectic and unconventional 
nature, had evidently carefully perused 
it. They recalled to mind Dr. John- 
son's reply to the lady who said she 
was so sorry to see he had put all 
the wicked and improper words in his 
dictionary — "And I am sorry to see, 
Madam, that you have been looking 
for them." 

This is not the first time such a 
charge has been brought against the 
Lady Novelist. It is an old story. 
She has been the object of this particu- 
lar reproach since she first took to 
writing. And one cannot deny that 
for such a tender and delicate being, 
whose influence upon the coarser male 
of the species leads him upward and 
onward, she has a curious predilection 
for subjects which are morbid, unpleas- 
ant, or of a sultry, equatorial warmth. 
George Sand, in her long series of 
novels of hysterical sentiment and law- 
less passion, was not merely giving 
expression to her own untrammelled 
temperament, — she was acting the 
pioneer in that particular field of emo- 
tional exposition where the woman's 
talent seems to run, — she was blazing 
the trail. 

When Byron wrote about love being 
an episode with a man while it was 
"woman's whole existence," he was 
probably making his deductions from 
his own personal observations. To 
love Byron was doubtless an engross- 
ing experience, and even if the grande 

passion were not to last to the confines 
of eternity, its victim said that it was 
and evidently believed she was telling 
the truth. What Byron probably did 
not think of was that his aphorism was 
equally applicable to women in other 
departments than simply as an adorer 
of himself or some other beloved male 

Love, in some form or other, is be- 
yond doubt "woman's whole exist- 
ence." It may be as the adoration 
for one especial, segregated being, or 
it may be for several of them advan- 
cing into her life and passing through 
it in detached Indian file. It may be 
as a mother, the absorbing, life-filling 
love of offspring that goes on through 
progressive stages of evolutjon strength- 
ening as it advances. It may be as 
a sister, as a child to a parent, as a 
friend. But except in rare cases, it is 
present in some form, an influencing, 
directing, obsessing preoccupation. 
The self-sufficing woman is a rarity, a 
deviation from accepted standards, 
what in botany is called "a sport." 
The normal female finds the fulfilment 
of her being in the cultivation of and 
relinquishment to some absorbing affec- 
tion. Nature created her for it, and if 
Fate has diverted her from it she will 
try to make up for the loss in futile, 
pathetic ways — take to pet dogs, or 
adopt orphans. 

Naturally the woman writer's talent 
turns to the exploitation of this domi- 
nant characteristic, follows the line of 
least resistance. She is not only drawn 
to the regions of sentiment and passion 
by observation and experience, but by 
an instinctive sympathy with, an intui- 
tional knowledge of, the complications 
that arise there/ It is her sphere, the 
place where she feels herself at home 
among comprehended, familiar things. 
She has a subtle, understanding insight 
into the romances, hidden or expressed, 
of the feminine life — the peaceful, 
legitimate ones of home, husband, and 
children, the wild, storm-shaken ones 


Women and the Unpleasant Novel 


of those who are a law unto them- 

She is indifferent to the great outside 
questions of the epoch. The commer- 
cial developments of recent years — 
looming into such huge predominance 
in the life of to-day — are matters of 
inferior moment. Women do not 
write convincingly or with authority of 
financial matters, of politics, of busi- 
ness. If they treat of such a moment- 
ous happening as a strike it is as it 
comes against or effects the indoor, 
feminine existence. A collapse on the 
stock market, which has its own ro- 
mance, will not draw from them words 
of such eloquent sincerity as the refu- 
sal of the lover or the betrayal of the 
maid. A bank failure, unless its re- 
action upon some one can be shown in 
the intimacy of a domestic drama, will 
be a matter of far less flurried conse- 
quence than the birth of a baby. Poli- 
tics — the game of kings — is in their 
eyes as nothing compared to the game 
of love. The Boss, with his tenebrous 
power, is a figure of no vital import 
compared to the lover who comes 
sparking in the dusk. 

It is true that there have been strong, 
adventurous women who have tried to 
extend their spheres and intrude into 
the men's territory. They write about 
stocks and strikes and politics and they 
write cleverly, with an affectation of 
bluff, manly hardness, a sort of swag- 
ger, which gives one a mental vision of 
them with their hands in their breeches 
pockets and silk hats on the backs of 
their heads. But this assumption of 
masculine knowingness is only a clever 
pastiche. It does not sound genuine 
and is not conducive to the creation of 
interesting narrative. Has any woman 
ever written a good novel — that is, one 
that the reader peruses with unflagg- 
ing attention — the pivot of which was a 
great political intrigue, or a great finan- 
cial transaction? There is matter for 
romances in both these departments of 
modern life, but not sentimental ro- 
mances, not the romances that arise 
from the bestowing of hearts and 

Even such strong, original spirits as 
George Eliot and Charlotte Bronte, 

women who had a virile force of intel- 
lect and power of expression, weakened 
when they came to the "male" part of 
their books. The political side of 
"Janet's Repentance" is dull; one 
wants to skip; and so it is with "Mid- 
dlemarch." In "Adam Bede" it is 
the story of Hetty and the tongue 
of Mrs. Poyser that charm us. In 
"Daniel Deronda" it is Gwendolen 
and her fate. It is to the feminine and 
passional element in each novel that 
we give, not so much our admiration, 
as our interest, our avid eagerness of 
attention. So with Charlotte Bronte. 
The earlier part of "Shirley," where 
the difficulties with the mill hands and 
owners are so clearly set forth, has not 
that same gripping power which distin- 
guishes everything that has to do with 
the heroine. It is Shirley, and par- 
ticularly Shirley and her love affairs, 
that absorbs us. We read rapidly on 
to get to her, glance ahead to see when 
she is coming on the stage again, and 
bear with the quarrelling curates and 
the long-winded mill owners to hear 
something more of a young girl and 
the men who are her swains. 

The domestic environment to which 
women are thus restricted for their 
material is an unfortunately circum- 
scribed area. With indefatigable in- 
dustry they have worked it in every 
direction; no field was ever more thor- 
oughly cultivated. Every situation 
that can develop in the Home Circle 
and on the Domestic Hearth they have 
studied and treated. No complication 
rising from the course of true love has 
escaped their diligence. They have 
chronicled the life of the virtuous and 
well meaning, from the palace where 
worthy royalties reign to the hovel 
where peasants lead a poor but honest 
existence. In this milieu there are no 
secrets hidden from the Lady Novelist. 
She has plucked out the heart of its 
mystery and studied it under a mag- 
nifying glass. 

The result is not only that respect- 
able domestic life, as a background for 
fiction, has been worn threadbare, but 
its exploiters have lost all illusions as 
to its romantic and glamorous proper- 
ties. They have revolted against it as 


The Critic 

dull, bauale, philistine. It represents 
to the English mind Clapham and 
Sunday tea, and to the American 
suburban flats, commutation tickets, 
and the servants' Sunday out. We all 
know that genius can transmute the 
dun web of every-day life into an airy, 
prism-shot fabric beautiful as the Lady 
of Shalott's web; but then a genius 
does not happen very often. Even 
among the Lady Novelist's they are 
rare. And to these artificers in senti- 
ment, expositors of the inner life of 
the most highstrung of created beings, 
every-day existence with its well- 
stocked larder, its well-filled purse, its 
untempted virtue, its unpicturesquely 
sound digestion, and sane satisfaction 
with this best possible of worlds, is 
not the stuff of which dreams are 
made — the splendid, rainbow dreams to 
which the ardent imagination of the 
Lady Novelist seriously inclines. 

It is outside the home corral, beyond 
the walls of the Queens Gardens, that 
the wide, mysterious world lies where 
things happen that are not always * 
perfectly pleasing and proper. Here 
hearts are sometimes ill-regulated or- 
gans, courtship is not invariably car- 
ried on in parlors with a chaperon in 
the next room, and married ladies have 
been known to prefer other than their 
rightful lords. Here are the people 
who make romances, who ''strut and 
fret their hour upon the stage" as 
players in a drama where the tension 
is high, the action sensational and 
spirited. Here there is "many a weed, 
and plenty of passions run to seed." 
Here is the Pays dn Tendre, the Sea 
Coast of Bohemia, and all the other 
strange, beguiling places, inhabited 
by delightful, unconventional beings 
who are everything but humdrum, and 
whose lives, whatever else they may 
be, are never dull. 

And it is here that the Lady Novel- 
ist seems to find her best material — or 
let us say the material that she finds 
best suited to her mental structure and 
her point of view. She is romantic 
and here there are romances. They 
are the sort of romances with which 
she is sympathetic; not those of 
modern business life. The heroine is 

not the daughter of the heartless Mon- 
opolist, nor the hero the proud, young 
Socialist destined to conquer him. 
Montague and Capulet may lead roar- 
ing factions, but they are not the heads 
of rival political parties. The battles 
that take place are not the giant com- 
bats of Trust Magnates. It is a place 
where the woman's life is much more 
to the fore than it is anywhere else in 
the world, even in modern America. 
All that pertains to heroines — what 
makes them sad and what makes them 
happy — is set forward in a foreground 
which is somewhat out of focus. The 
rustle of their skirts is always in the air, 
and sometimes the scent of perfumery 
is almost too heavy and gives to the 
surroundings a suggestion of some- 
thing -unaired and artificial. 

That the material the Lady Novelist 
finds here is often morbid, frequently 
unpleasant, and sometimes improper, 
is only too true. With her tempera- 
mental bias toward the feverishly in- 
tense and her endeavor to escape from 
the familiar flatness of the purely do- 
mestic, she goes to the other extreme 
and chooses subjects that frequently 
surprise and occasionally shock her 
readers. Men do not seem to under- 
stand the reason for this deviation and 
accuse the woman writer of a natural 
predilection for matter of the ' ' Speckled 
Peaches" variety, and the woman reader 
of aiding and abetting her in her breach 
of good taste. What the man does not 
see is that the majority of such subjects 
have a vital bearing on the lives of 
women. The authoress chooses them 
as something of real tragic import, the 
reader devours them as bearing on 
questions that are of close and intimate 
reality. Such dramas of the female life 
as Sara Grand treated in "The Heav- 
enly Twins" seem febrile and un- 
healthy to the man's less restricted and 
more open-air experience. But he 
does not grasp' the deadly significance 
of such a situation to the woman, who, 
in close proximity, too helpless or too 
timid to escape, has every detail of its 
obnoxiousness forced upon her obser- 
vation and ground into her conscious- 

These subjects have a deathless, 

Women and the Unpleasant Novel 


vital interest to women. They have 
burned scars into their lives for cen- 
turies. They have the force of old 
grievances, long-endured wrongs. That 
a woman should write and other wom- 
en should read such a book as "Pigs 
in Clover" shows the extent of this 
interest and its capacity to dull all 
squeamishness and delicacy of taste 
when the subject deals with amatory, 
feminine complications. A book like 
"The Daughter of the Vine," the 
story of which is the downfall through 
drink of a woman, is the last note of 
morbid repulsiveness. Its author has 
selected one of the most unpleasant of 
themes and "written it up" with a 
grim, deliberate functuousness of de- 
tail. But women have read it, not for 
its attractiveness, but as a grewsome 
picture of a dreadful doom that has 
wrecked lives known to them and 
sometimes dear to them. In "The 
Maternity of Harriott Wicken" Mrs. 
Dudeney showed the vagaries of the 
maternal instinct, roused from apathy 
by the realization of a child's infirm- 
ity. To women the unpleasantness of 
this book is balanced by its insight into 
a situation of the profoundest import- 
ance. The relation of mother and 
child, written of with understanding 
and sympathy, redeems it of all taint 
of unwholesomeness. - It is a world-old 
subject; the last word will never be 
said of it. 

No one can deny that the readers of 
books of this kind are women ; as the 
writers of them are women. But it 
must be remembered that they read 
them, not as men do for recreation and 
diversion, but seriously as matter which 
bears on their own immediate affairs. 
They read them somewhat as they 
read cook-books, and fashion papers, 
and magazines for mothers, with almost 
the reluctant respect that is given to 
educative literature. 

They are not lightly or casually in- 
terested in them, but absorb them 
with gravity, giving a profound mental 
consideration to their morbid psychol- 
ogy, their close, unaired view of life. 
Not only the choice of feminine sub- 
jects, but the feminine point of view 
from which the subjects are treated, 
gives them the grasping charm of the 
known and familiar. Women have 
written them from their own experi- 
ences and observations. They have 
bubbled or dripped out of female 
hearts, and to female hearts their mes- 
sage goes. No wonder the man feels 
himself an embarrassed outsider when 
he intrudes into this symposium of 
feminism. These Eleusinian Mysteries 
are not for his profane and uncompre- 
hending comments, his unenlightened 
and ignorant derision. He has no 
place there. Clodius at the festival of 
the Bona Dea was not more awkwardly 
de trop. 

By the Hill of Dan 


Marie, I wonder if you recall, 

Conning the past like a written scroll, 

That day, the goldenest day of all, 

And the long rest under the giant bole 
Where the singing Banias waters roll? 

Over the bough-tops the blue of noon — 
A Syrian sapphire shot with gold — 

Quivered and burned; and a lyric rune 
Stirred in the leaves, and the bulbul told 
Its pleading, passionate love-tale old. 

On a curious web of Kermanshah 

Our tempting mid-day feast was spread ; — 

Figs from the dale of Derdera, 

The white rice cakes and the barley bread, 
And the Lebanon vintage amber-red. 

Then afterward, in the plane-tree shade, 

How we sat and talked of the coming years, 

While the carelessly tethered horses strayed 
Afar through the thicket of bamboo spears, 
And the dragoman stormed at the muleteers! 

We have followed fate, and we meet no more, 
And I know not whither your footsteps fall ; 

But when spring returns, and the swallows soar, 
I often wonder if you recall 
That day, the goldenest day of all. 


What We Read to Children 


Way out yonder 
Is the land of Wonder-Wander. 

The days when Puritan babies died 
of too much religion and too few 
flannels are now so far in the remote 
that we reproduce them only for the 
tragedy of contrast, since, however the 
carper may be justified of his carping, 
it is safer to over-amuse the babies of 
to-day than to let them "perish in 
prayer and praise" from a world of 
discipline that tempts none of them to 

Not that creed or climate ever killed 
the art of story-telling. Many there 
be who hold that Mother Goose was a 
Bostonian, and in frozen Finland no 
less than under Porto Rican palms 
stories have been told to little children. 

Now that these tales, old and new, 
have been gathered into books, they 
seem to overflow the world. Variously 
printed and pictured they heap them- 
selves upon department-store counters 
and stare from the book-shop windows 
for the confounding of well-meaning 
aunts and prowling uncles. They are 
"classic" and trashy, painful and 
pretty, good, bad, and commonplace, 
and the most remarkable of all are 
those intended to be read to the child 
before he can read to himself. 

Even in days before their numbers 
were so great, what resources things 
read to us provided for reminiscence! 
Pictures stamped on linen pages of 
Father Tuck, colored prints whose 
gorgeousness crayons could not rival, 
have outlasted in memory greater 
works. Maturer classics have faded 
from mind before the tragic idyl where 
"In the barn a little mousie ran to and 
fro" till kitty "caught the little mousie, 
long time ago." 

Perhaps the grown-up's first thrill of 
real poetry came from 

Little white lily 

Sat by a stone, 
Drooping and waiting 

Till the sun shone. 

He had to stand on tiptoe to follow 
the lines with the book laid flat upon 
his mother's knee. Afterward, al- 
though it had no picture, he could find 
the place and "read" it himself, from 
the big letters at the top to the dab 
of small print that stopped it, a little 
way down the right-hand page. It 
sang itself in his head, always with the 
sound of his mother's voice. 

If he be a certain kind of grown-up 
his first memories of Mother Goose re- 
turn to him in songs sung by that same 
voice with "Bobby Shafto 's Gone to 
Sea," "Billy Boy," "The Old Crow," 
"Cockoo-Cucko-oo," and "Hush, my 
child, lie still and slumber." 

The love of rhyme and verse comes 
into being with the first breath and 
outlasts mumps and measles, cold days 
and wet. The companion demand to 
"Wead it," which is always "Sing it," 
persists unwearied through many sea- 
sons. The supply is beginning to meet 
that demand. Stevenson and Eugene 
Field have both been given melodies, 
and this is well, for if there were no 
notes ready for their words, then, in 
every enlightened household, airs not 
so good would have to be made to 
order. Lydia Avery Coonley's "Sing- 
ing Verses for Children" makes a home 
richer, and Weedon's "Bandanna Bal- 
lads" are a charm for keeping the rest- 
less spirit laid when sleepy time brings 
no sleep. 

Whether it be "Tell Aunt Rhoda" 
or a song more modern, some verse and 
some melody a child should have. The 
"April Baby's Book of Tunes" con- 
tains both, and a good story to boot. 
It combines with much seduction the 
song and the story, the old and the 
new, and it must be read or read and 
sung from cover to cover with great 
frequency. There should be a large and 
obliging family of adults wherever it ap- 
pears. That the real April baby's com- 
ment on the tale is said to have been 
"What silly babies and what a silly 
mummy !" does not matter in the least. 


1 7 8 

The Critic 

In song or story the responsibility 
of the grown-up is not light. It is 
not necessary to go back to Cotton 
Mather and his idea of a children's 
book ("Some Examples of Children in 
whom the Fear of God was remarkably 
Budding before they died : in several 
parts of New England") to discover a 
deal of infant literature worth expur- 
gating or forgetting. The worst of 
many of even the good stories is that 
one must forever adapt, omit, or change 
as one reads. Bad English one can 
amend. " ' Will I bring it to Mama? ' 
asked Georgie, picking up the teeny 
shell," or even " Was you ever in the 
beautiful mountains?" may occur in an 
otherwise "pretty story" and the skill 
of the reader is not greatly tested, but 
an evil moral is quite as frequent and 
not so easily amended. The Jack-the- 
Giant-Killer heroes who win by lying 
only, the dreary commonplace of much 
of Hans Andersen, will bear cutting or 
cheerful comment. Kipling's butterfly 
who wins by falsehood, the nine hun- 
dred and ninty-nine imprisoned wives 
denied even the diversion of scolding, 
the legendary precedent for the stoning 
of cats, require delicate handling. 

But not the handling of a prig. A 
child must have legends, fairies, mar- 
vels. All the worse for him if he must 
take the husk with the corn, if he be- 
long to a race of imbeciles who never 
"skip" but march straight from frontis- 
piece to finis, "conscientious" and 

Such people have neither wisdom nor 
humor. Without humor it is perhaps 
impossible to be wise. The true sense 
of humor comes late to most, never to 
many, though seldom in the history of 
man has there existed a person who 
suspected he had n't it. We all think 
we appreciate subtlety in humor, just 
as we all know we are "gentlemen." 
So humor exists in "traces" only within 
the didactic covers of the older stories, 
and it is found none too often in the 
newer ones. It is a happy baby that 
hears "The Walloping Window Blind" 
as a lullaby. Vague comprehensions 
steal upon him early and fit him for 
an appreciation of Chip's dogs (which 
he takes to at an incredibly infantile 

period) and for "Alice in Wonder- 
land." The full bliss of Oliver Herford 
is not for babes. The rhyme of the 

Let Fido chase his tail all day, 

Let kitty play at tag. 
She has no time to throw away ; 

She has no tail to wag, 

tickles the elect of childhood, but 
leaves the mighty average like Mar- 
jorie's bereaved fowl who "was more 
than usual cam." 

But Alice assuages grief and kills in- 
difference, makes the languid vigorous 
and inspires the lively. "Alice" is 
worn and grimy even unto the last and 
most elaborate edition, and whether 
the real and only Tenniel or the won- 
derful Peter Newell bodies her forth, 
to the whole world of children there is 
a kind of shining in the very name. 
No one but a fiend would keep them 
waiting for Alice and the White Kitten 
till they could read. Nothing more 
vigorously stimulates imagination, the 
faculty that alone shows us made in the 
image of the Creator. Nothing better 
encourages that sense of humor which 
is its twin. These things it is good for 
the Olympian to remember when his 
flesh rebels at the hundredth repetition 
of "Through the Looking-Glass. " 

A sense of humor can be cultivated. 
Any normal city child will smile at 

"When our boys and girls are cross, then what shall 

we do ? 
Where, when little heads they toss, shall we send 

them to ? 
We '11 send them where the naughtiest, crossest 

children are, 
We '11 send them off to Cross Town on a Cross 

Town car. 

Arthur Macy, who wrote it, has the 
touch that calls humor into being 
where it never existed before. 

If you polish your mind you '11 certainly find 
How little, how little you know, 

may be beyond the normal child, but 
he is charmed into wiggleless silence 
by "The Boston Cats." 

To all children the charm of rhythm 
is to be matched only by the charm of 

What We Read to Children 


infinite detail. The maddening reiter- 
ation of " Arabella picked a daisy, 
Araminta picked a daisy, Arabella 
picked a daisy," through an endless 
page gives Janie and Jamie all the de- 
light of a raid on the daisy field. That 
charm is what has insured the survival 
of the Franconia stories, the "Phonny 
Books" of three generations. It is a 
question whether or not they should be 
left to the child's own reading. (Even 
if they were, could anything bring to 
him the wilding flavor of that hour of 
discovery when, treasure trove among 
unmeaning rubbish of " Ministering 
Children " and "Advice to Parents," 
they came forth for us from a loose- 
hinged garret chest!) 

The new edition has wisely preserved 
the red cover and the enticing headings 
set between the title and the printed 

The Alcove. The Curtains. Malleville Tries to 
Speak to Phonny. 

Where in the world is a better fairy 
than the White Mountain nymph of 
Beechnut's "embellished" story! 
Games, picnics, the storm, the sick- 
room, are all endowed with curious 
and vivid reality. Physical comfort 
pervades every tale, — and children are 
all sybarites — always an easy-chair, a 
couch, apples roasting on the hearth. 
Woods and water, fires in the open air, 
Beechnut's "shop," where to this day 
we could find in the dark the ladder 
that led to the " loft " above, all are 
full of fascination. 

To many a grown-up the word 
"country" means the land of "Phon- 
ny" who said "Hon" and followed 
about after Beechnut. If you wan- 
dered in that land, if you set the white 
stone and the dark stones for the mo- 
saic of Mary Bell's grotto; if you wrote 
letters to Agnes the fairy, or sang 
"Come and see me, Mary Ann," you 
will always be a little in the enchanted 
realm, though you may never again 
"go all the way." And if you can find 
two people who knew Ellen Linn and 
Mary Bell, Wallace and Mary Erskine, 
though an instant ago they were com- 
plete and willing strangers, they will 
fall to upon the discovery of that mu- 

tual remembrance with gleaming eyes 
and loosened tongues, while the waves 
of dawn and of dewy remembrance 
flood their "illumined being." 

The Franconia stories are more in- 
teresting than were Rollo and the im- 
proving "Mr. George," because they 
contain less information and more life. 
"Information," unless it come as a 
spirit with wings, is dangerous. When 
it appears naturally, out of past or 
present, it finds, even among the 
"littlest," a greedy audience. They 
like to "know." Church's "Story of 
the Odyssey, "Royal Children of Eng- 
lish History," "Ten Boys who Lived 
on the Road to Long Ago," and 
"Seven Little Sisters" give a kind of 
pleasure due partly to the sense of 

This acquirement is, of course, neces- 
sary ; one must have facts. If one can 
have them, as in these books, made 
attractive and stimulating so much the 
better. But character is dependent 
upon imagination. Cruelty, selfish- 
ness, oftenest exist for lack of power to 
put one's self in the other man's place. 
Nothing in literature civilizes and 
teaches better than the right kind of 
nature and animal books. 

To a literal-minded infant one might 
read "The Elephant's Child" in "Just 
So Stories." When his eyes begin to 
widen, try him with Chambers's "Out- 
doorland." The elephant legend leads 
naturally to the finer meaning of the 
Outdoorland story that takes away the 
artificial fears with which too many 
nurses, governesses, and even mothers 
surround the outside world. Reginald 
Birch's illustrations are real poetry and 
real country, and there is the best kind 
of information between the pictured 

Another book that spurs a drowsy 
mind is "Mother Nature's Children." 
No one, of course, is ever too young to 
love Lobo, Rag, and Vixen ("Wild 
Animals I Have Known"), no one too 
undeveloped to have a soft spot for 
Johnny Bear. 

All these tales are good art and good 
English. Character is handicapped 
where it finds the English language 
a reluctant medium. Apart from any 


The Critic 

question of morals or religion, it does 
not need a Ruskin to tell us that the 
child who is familiar with the English 
Bible and the best of the English 
hymns will be better equipped for self- 
expression than the child who has not 
responded at a plastic age to the anti- 
phonal measure of the psalms nor heard 
the poetry of Isaiah. Complete com- 
prehension is not necessary. 

In days when "Aunt Louisa's Sun- 
day Picture Book" was the rarest of 
diversions (its "rocks," very lofty, 
scrubbed a fine yellow; its "conies," 
very wee, dabbed a gay vermilion) one 
might have guessed, when children 
listened to grown-up reading, that they 
were driven by a dearth of literature 
of their own to books of their elders. 
But they find to-day the same attrac- 
tion in what is not intended for their 
understanding. Poetry, prose poetry, 
the pageantry of words, catch and hold 
their vigorous attention. The norm- 
ally book-loving girl or boy gets a 
pleasure beyond our conceding from 
what he does not comprehend, and 
with his pleasure is often mixed a 
shrewd inkling, clear as his clairvoy- 
ance for grown-up conversations. 

Absorbed and contented, one four- 
year-old listened to "Hiawatha," and 
though as a man he had never opened 
the book again, knew more of it than 
the other grown-ups. Years ago a 
child stood, an interested audience, be- 
tween her father's knees while he read 

her the trial scene from ' ' The Merchant 
of Venice." That play has ever since 
had to her a peculiar reality. Not 
long ago two grave Olympians sat down 
to read "The Reign of Law" in a room 
where a very small person was striping 
the dictionary zebra in pink and purple. 
Through all the long rhapsody on the 
growing hemp he sat without painting 
a stroke, and for days to come teased 
for "more hemp." 

Let them listen, when and where 
they will, even if what they hear make 
but a "sweet jargoning " in their ears. 

"I have read to Howard [nine years 
old] 'The Song of Life,' said a 
wise mother. "It told him in the right 
way all the things that I was afraid he 
would learn from other children in 
wrong ways." And when she repeated 
his questions and her answers the 
friends to whom she spoke thought, 
"Fortunate child' the world will be a 
cleaner place to him all his life for his 
mother's courageous forethought." In 
conduct or in books it is not only the 
spoken word or the printed page, the 
song notes or the picture, but the med- 
ium through which these reach the 
child's life that make him what he is. 

For those who feel too profoundly 
the danger of such power there is a hint 
of admirable import on the final page 
of Goops : 

When you practise virtue 
Do it with a laugh. 

To the Lamp=Bearers 


CURIOUS it is to note what images 
will strike the mind before impressions 
that themselves bear no reference to 
the thing suggested. Memory links 
these diverse ideas and sense connects 
them for us, so that joy or sorrow may 
lurk in a scent, darkness or light in a 

My Calystegia pubescens climbing in 
the arms of a large Arancaria imbricata, 
or monkey puzzle, always reminds me 
of De Quincey's attack on Goethe. 
There is the same display of energy, 
beauty, and futility in each case; for 
as well may the convolvulus seek to 
strangle this giant conifer from Chili 
in fleeting bonds and fret of flowers, 
as De Quincey, with magic of style 
and adornments of rhetoric, attempt 
to ridicule or discredit one so much 
mightier than himself. To watch him 
and know Goethe is to see a wave 
broken into liquid dust against the fore- 
head of some ocean-facing cliff. There 
is a gleam of rainbows and the wave 
has vanished. Now happily has that 
biography so petty, so narrow, so un- 
worthy of the great pen that wrote it, 
vanished from the pages of the " Ency- 
clopaedia Britannica" and given place 
to a juster and saner appreciation. 
One reads De Quincey's biographies 
less and less as the years pass; but 
there is much of pure scholarship and 
poetry that is imperishable, and the 
style remains a miracle as of yore. It 
is subject for mourning that to this rare 
spirit the rational thinker should always 
be anathema: under a curse. Dogged 
and inveterate is his bitterness ; for free 
thought his sharpest arrow was ever 
at the string; and yet constant service 
blunted it and robbed its point of the 
venom there. De Quincey had an un- 
varying argument against those who 
thought not as he thought and looked 
with larger tolerance upon the world 
of religious ideas. Such things were 
always mad. They must be mad to 
differ from those dogmas that De 
Quincey held. Lucretius, Goethe, 

Shelley — all who stood outside his fold 
— suffered from actual insanity, or the 
near threat and terror of it. Lucretius 
is "the first of demoniacs" laboring 
under "the frenzy of an earth-born or 
a hell-born inspiration." Shelley is 
"a lunatic angel" whose intellect was 
"already ruined before the light of 
manhood had cleansed its darkness." 
As if the light of manhood were not 
that light of lights, the light of reason. 
Goethe, indeed, he dares not denomin- 
ate insane; but his escape is an acci- 
dent; had Goethe been called upon to 
face tribulation and grief, he must 
surely have repeated "the mixed and 
moody character of his father." His 
natural mind was " corrupted and 
clouded" ; and this because he regarded 
his Maker not with awe but curiosity. 
Strange amalgam of piety and venom 
mixed is this impotent assault; yet an 
utterance to study and from which to 
learn. In phrases that mingle like the 
classic figures from a frieze, or the in- 
terlacing of lovely foliage, he says these 
vain things. The rationalist — whether 
poet, philosopher, or artist — must en- 
dure his jewelled scourge; and it is 
interesting to mark how other inspired 
stylists have displayed a like intoler- 
ance. Milton, De Quincey, Ruskin — 
what remembered music haunts their 
names; yet who shall say that even 
in their gardens are not fruits of dust 
and flowers without sweetness. Milton 
may truly be forgiven, for he lived at 
a time when faith demanded blind 
allegiance to slay the rot at a nation's 
heart ; but for Ruskin I conceive no 
excuse. His page is blotted with the 
narrow bitterness of personal disap- 
pointment and the unreasoning wrath 
of fanaticism. When he speaks of 
Science and the august name of Dar- 
win, again I see the little convolvulus 
— a frail and fleeting shadow against 
the deep-rooted strength of forest trees. 
De Quincey was my familiar friend 
through boyhood and beyond it. How 
often have I slept with him beneath 



The Critic 

my pillow! And I can grasp a little 
of his morbid suffering in the eternal 
struggle for perfection of utterance; I 
can share a part of his aesthetic torment 
over cacophony, redundance, obscur- 
ity, and all the thousand minute deli- 
cacies and subtleties of resonance and 
dissonance, accent and caesura that 
only a De Quincey's ear appreciates 
and seeks to achieve or evade. How 
many care for these fine things to-day? 
How many are concerned if De Quin- 
cey uses a word with the long "a" 
sound, or spends a sleepless night in 
his endeavor to find another with the 
short "a," that shall at once answer 
his purpose and crown his sentence 
with harmony ? Who lovingly examine 
the great artist's methods now, dip 
into the secret of his mystery, and 
weigh verb against adjective, vowel 
against consonant, that they may a 
little understand the unique splendor 
of this prose? And who, when an 
artist is the matter, attempt to meas- 
ure his hopes as well as his attainments 
or praise a noble ambition perhaps 
shining through faulty attempt? How 
many, even among those who write, 
have fathomed the toil and suffering, 
the continence and self-denial of our 
great artists in words? This rises in a 
measure from the common confusion 
of thought that puts prose and poetry 
in antithesis, whereas it is a mere plati- 
tude to say that poetry is not a form, 
but an element common to prose and 
verse alike. We forget that some of 
the greatest prose in the language is 
poetry, and while we shrewdly examine 
the measure and plan of verse, too 
often overlook the workmanship of 
great prose, too often underestimate 
the cost to the artist. 

Oh, "average reader," would that I 
could waken you into a higher ambi- 
tion and a truer perception touching 
the business of art. If, for example, 
before tumbling through your next 
box of story-books from Mudie's, you 
would take Aristotle from his dark 
corner, shake him, dust him, open him, 
and ponder the "Poetics"! There are, 
indeed, those who hold that this mas- 
ter-spirit cannot be proved to contain 
all the truth, and that upon high art 

and its infinite horizons he is no longer 
the paramount sum ; but he will more 
than suffice your purpose and the pur- 
poses of those who write for you. Con- 
sider a moment what he requires and 
determine with yourself that you also 
need these qualities and must obtain 
them. You probably dislike tragedy. 
You choose rather that everything 
shall end happily in your story-books, 
"because in real life everything does 
not do so." Too well I know your 
dreadful arguments ! But why do you, 
who are a truthful soul in your life and 
in your relations with your kind, tell 
me to lie to you and weave the thing 
that is not, because in your hour of 
leisure you refuse to look upon the 
thing that is? Do you, readers of the 
magazines, perceive the insult you put 
on those who write them? No, no, 
you neither perceive nor understand. 
But just for this one evening, to oblige 
me, wrestle with the great Greek and 
try to comprehend. Consider what a 
tragedy means. He will tell you. His 
six essentials in that sort are Plot, 
Character, and Diction, Thought, Sce- 
nery, and Song. They go to every 
great story now as then ; now as then 
it is necessary, if a man dare profess 
and call himself artist, that he shall 
fight and toil to weld these ingredients 
in one balanced, perfect unity, so that 
from his revelation of life there shall 
spring like a dawn within the reader's 
soul that salutary katliarsis — the sol- 
emn, purifying principle wrought of 
pity and of fear. That is man's work! 
And it is for you to demand it from 
the story-tellers who call themselves 
men. Comedy likewise may well be 
called to bear these six essentials, and 
had the mighty mind of Aristotle 
thrown light on that art also, he had 
perchance demanded not only those 
qualities, but also shown how, instead 
of fear and pity, our high comedy in 
its supreme expression must touch the 
human heart to tolerance, lift it to love, 
and warm it with great, sane laughter, 
such as Rabelais and Cervantes awak- 
ened, in the world. 

• Now, "average reader," your work 
is cut out for you if you are going to 
apply one poor span of the Aristotelian 

To the Lam p= Bearers 


standard to your modern fiction either 
of the stage* or bookstall; and I warn 
you to be patient. We who write your 
tales cannot meet you in a moment 
with better art. Expect no immediate 
masterpieces from us; look for no 
Greek grandeur, Latin beauty, Eliza- 
bethan humanity in the autumn lists of 
1905, because they will not be there; 
but develop a desire in yourself towards 
these things; survey your own con- 
temptible requirements and cease to be 
content ; observe that your abject taste 
in fiction redounds neither to your 
credit nor to the advancement of high 
art — nor any sort of art at all. 

Lastly, be short and sharp with those 
who guide you in this matter; explain 
to the critics that they too must seek 
their prototypes in the company of the 
bygone great and call for a loftier note 
and nobler ideals; that they must shake 
us from our slumber and blow Aris- 
totle's trumpet in our ears; that they 
must put a period to the ceaseless, thin 
rattle of their unconsidered praise and 
henceforth pay our mediocrity with 
the scorn of silence. Be swift, or 
surely our self-respect must perish. 

And then — think of it! you are an 
"average reader" no more; and they 
are "average critics" no more; and we 
shall need swiftly to mend our ways, 
or follow our feeble stories and vulgar 
puppets, our mean diction, sentimen- 
tality, and nebulous thinking down 
into the dust of oblivion, where such 
offences properly belong. 

But as well may De Quincey, with 
his foam of fine phrasing, endeavor to 
splash the marble front of Goethe; as 
well may my little convolvulus attempt 
to strangle the life out of the tree that 
carries her aloft, as any word of mine 
seek to teach our "average reader" 
that real story-telling is toil for strong 
men and women, not a tawdry bur- 
lesque of life spun by mental weaklings 
to help him through a leisure hour, to 
assist his digestion after dinner or kill 
his time in the train. No, it is vain to 
appeal to his understanding until we 
have educated it. We must teach 
him; he cannot help us; and to lift 
him it is necessary first that we lift 

ourselves. To despise him is folly; to 
chide him is unreasonable. Deny his 
hungry demand for trash — that is the 
wiser way. Elect a Parliament of Let- 
ters and suffer nothing calling itself a 
novel to reach our "average reader" 
until authority has passed it ! Give 
him what is better far than the rubbish 
he cries for. Look to it that he shall 
have from you what your other children 
have: the thing they need, not the 
thing they want; and that you may 
the better judge for him, stand back a 
little from the rush and hurry; scan 
the old roads; keep higher literary 
company yourself; adjust your self- 
estimates and your perspective by study 
of the great of yesterday, not compari- 
son with the small of to-day. 

For we stand at a significant point in 
time. The dawn of a new age of 
thought is flushing the sky; the older 
order fades, the old faith, creatress of 
so much glorious work, now dies the 
natural death of all faiths that have 
strengthened the feet and lifted the 
hearts of men through their appointed 
centuries. Truth is crowned, and the 
trumpets of her ministers, Science and 
Reason, proclaim her. In these high 
moments of change let the lamp-bearers 
cling close to their sacred torches ; cher- 
ish the flame against storm and tem- 
pest, and keep clear their ancient altar 
fires even though they cannot keep 
them bright. Then the great unborn 
— those who follow to expand their 
genius in conditions of culture, toler- 
ance, and knowledge we know not — 
shall say, even of this our time, that 
despite perishing principles and decay- 
ing conventions, despite false teaching, 
false triumphs, and false taste, there 
were yet those who strove for the im- 
memorial grandeur of their calling, who 
pandered to no temptation from with- 
out or from within, who followed none 
of the great world-voices, were dazzled 
by none of the great world-lights, and 
used their gift as stepping-stone to no 
meaner life ; but clear-eyed and patient, 
neither elated nor cast down, still lifted 
the lamp as high as their powers al- 
lowed, still pursued art singly for her 
own immortal sake. 

Two Books of Song 


MORE than once has occasion been 
taken by us to lament, that modern 
priestesshood at the altar of Eros has, 
for the most part, uttered itself only in 
strains of a banal and shallow eroticism, 
— fit subject for grief, for anger, for 
caustic reprehension. On the precinct 
of this perilous theme the votaress 
would do well to recall the successive 
legends read by Britomart on the doors 
of approach to Busyrane's enchanted 
penetralia: "Be bold, be bold, and, 
everywhere, be bold" — but, also, upon 
a third iron door, — "Be not too bold." 
This is, perhaps, but to say, the vo- 
taress of Eros in song too often lacks 
inner delicate discretion, while fully 
equipped as to valor — "in the gross!" 
In receiving these "Last Poems," * we 
have the mournful pleasure of indicat- 
ing one who, as lover and as woman of 
genius, most nearly fulfilled the meas- 
ure of requisitions needful in serving 
at the altar before mentioned. For, 
so it seems to us, the flame leaped 
upon that altar in clear corroboration 
of her vocation, whatever phase in the 
drama of woman's love-experience was 
touched upon by the art of Laurence 
Hope. Here, we may claim, if any- 
where in our modern day, was the true 
inheritor of the Sapphic fervor, of the 
Sapphic song, — and, shall we not add, 
of the Sapphic catastrophe! Indeed, 
this last event (but lately of tragic 
accomplishment), we may regard as 
clearly foreshadowed in the pathetic 
"Dedication" to that love of a lifetime, 
without whom life proved a burden too 
heavy to be born. Wrung from the 
heart of this passionate singer in 
"Vishnu Land," are these sobbing yet 
prophetic words : 

Small joy was T to thee ; before we met 
Sorrow had left thee all too sad to save. 

Useless my love — as vain as this regret 

That pours my helpless life across thy grave. 

As in a "book of hours," may one 

*"Last Poems. Translations from the Book of Indian 
Love." By Laurence Hope. John Lane Co. 

read the varying moods and forms 
of devotion (recorded by this now- 
silenced priestess of the altar), wherein 
a woman's heart may spend itself upon 
the object beloved. Its concentrated 
brevity permits us to cite the following 
example — yet it is but one among many 
of like gems scattered through these 

Talk not, my Lord, of unrequited love, 

Since love requites itself most royally. 
Do we not live but by the sun above, 

And takes he any heed of thee or me ? 
Though in my firmament thou wilt not shine, 

Thy glory as a Star is none the less. 
Oh, Rose, though all unplucked by hand of mine, 

Still am I debtor to thy loveliness. 

Mr. Routh has, so it seems to us, 
made the proverbial "move in the right 
direction," in his choice of theme, — 
the theme being drawn from our own 
Occident, the Mexico of pre-European 
time, shimmering in the distance of 
Aztec mythological antiquity. The 
author of "The Fall of Tollan" * dis- 
plays considerable aptitude in his 
wielding of blank verse, and a fair 
degree of the ability to "visualize" the 
scene which he has set, in this "prickly 
garden," as it were, of a lapsed civiliza- 
tion in our mid-continent. He is, 
thus, able, at times, to make us possess, 
with him a "storied moment" — yet not 
at all times ! He has achieved this, for 
example, in such a bit of description as 
the following, where the slaves serving 
the feast in "Great Tollan," are seen 
like "flashes of radiant-plumed birds," 
as they appear and vanish, 

Bearing upon their shoulders swart great bowls 
Of checkered clay, smoking with forest game, 
And figured silver flagons in which foamed 
Brown beaten chocolate and Maguey wine. 

But he has sadly missed the desired 
impressiveness — in such figures as the 
following, "The timid evening star 
trips softly forth," and "A crafty, dim, 
and dangerous basilisk smile." 

* -'The Fall of Tollan." By James Edward Routh, Jr. 
Boston : Richard G. Badger. $1.00. 


The Editor's Clearinghouse 

On the Decay of Honor 

Although nobody would deny the 
charge if properly attacked, it is a 
truism that only you may call yourself 
a liar with impunity. This is essen- 
tially the same position assumed by a 
table-companion of mine who, when 
loudly so proclaimed by a neighbor, 
used to hush him up with the deft, 
flattering observation that there were 
only a few in the secret. So long as 
the recording angels — our immediate 
relatives — are kept too busy to talk 
over affairs with the rest of the guild, 
we are complacent and lofty observers 
of this absurd world. We do not care 
for honor, we care for reputation; and 
when love of the semblance has sup- 
planted the love of the thing itself, 
people become shadow-shapes and life 
a sham. 

The false estimate put on the value 
of the objects of our aim is responsible 
for most of the misery of our modern, 
artificial life. From the vulgar desire 
always to occupy the orchestra stall 
when the proper place for us would be 
a flight higher if we consulted our real 
not our actual purse, to the more de- 
ceptive desire always to be seen with 
"nice" people, one can ring all the 
changes leading from folly to knavery. 
Mere display amuses us whoare prudent 
and color-blind ; but are we so superior 
who are silently trembling lest Mrs. 
Hoax discover that we, too, have not 
read the novel which evokes our com- 
plete sympathy with her ardor? We 
excuse our ambition for high esteem 
by the plea that we do not wish to hurt 
the feelings of others; thus is much 
Christianity put to the secret blush. 
Where, now, lies the capital fallacy? 
In believing that the most obvious 
and human form of honor — honesty — 
is a matter of gift not of cultivation. 
The commonest and severest comment 
on the morals of the rest of us is the 
fact that an honest man is always a 
"crank," "freak," or "traitor." We 
generally regard the man who tells the 
truth as a born fool ; we shake our 
heads dolefully and with large, com- 

passionate eyes question heaven why 
he was allowed to find the light of day. 
We join the crowd and heap the out- 
cast with abusive pity and think our- 
selves magnanimous that we allow him 
"well-meaning!" We are slaves to 
numbers. Democracy has infatuated 
us with our own sufficiency. Evil 
itself has been reasoned away until that 
which distinguishes the "mass of citi- 
zens," whose prophet is the public 
print, is per se desirable. Life to-day 
is so comfortable, so seductive, so con- 
ducive to non-resistance that we do 
not wish to starve following the lone 
voice of honesty crying in the wilder- 
ness of cities. 

We are dishonest by choice. In the 
abstract, L e., on Sundays, we are 
formidable champions of righteous- 
ness. At the safe distance of centuries 
we laud and love Savonarola or Luther 
or Milton; but let a man openly swear 
at the church and press of our day, 
fagots are on their way from San Fran- 
cisco and New Orleans, express prepaid. 
Such is the fact of private experience. 
Low as are private morals, those of 
assemblies are notoriously lower. No- 
body doubts that there is not one 
legislature in the length and breadth 
of the land which is not corrupt. But 
just announce what any corporation 
manager will tell you and what a storm 
of indignation becomes articulate. Or 
if you feel that you have insulted the 
State by doubting the veracity of 
knaves, will you be consoled at the 
spectacle of the workingman? The 
uplifted arm that fails to fall because 
the whistle has sounded "Time!" 
might well be the symbol of labor's 
honor. The job well done, the con- 
tract carefully executed are the excep- 
tion. Ask a workingman why and 
how he does a given portion of your 
veranda; tools are dropped and the 
boss consulted as to whether the work 
ought to go on. 

Already the blighting effect' of this 
indifference of adults to honor is hav- 
ing its way with the youngster. You 
may win over, but you cannot convince 


1 86 

The Critic 

a pupil that it is dishonest to copy 
another's paper or accept his prompt- 
ing. The boy knows how his mother 
has read as her own before her Investi- 
gating Club a learned address written 
by a more fortunate neighbor. A text- 
book in common use recently in our 
high schools treats with relish of the 
humor of the situation the fact that 
Washington Irving was wont to write 
compositions for lads who did his sums. 
And few are the mature men of to-day 
who have not- a large stock of stories 
over which, to their everlasting dis- 
honor, they linger with open delight. 
Who of us is ignorant that the crib is 
the cradle of the classics? If a fellow 
passes his examination, he gloats over 
the vindication of his honor! 

Just here lies the secret of the whole 
matter. We are too prone to judge 
by results. Success is our touchstone 
of morals. Montaigne tells of the Per- 
sian's answer to those who marvelled 
that so wise a man's counsels should 
meet with such ill results : the master of 
his counsels was himself, but of the re- 
sults, fortune. We are not very differ- 
ent from that marvelling Persian crowd. 
We have simply carried the wonder- 
ment to its logical conclusion. Because 
results are in the hands of chance, be- 
cause people ask what we have done or 
acquired, not how, we become careless 
about the means and sacrifice honor to 
glory. We have not merely discounted 
the old adage that honesty is the best 
policy; America disproves it daily. 
And yet we ought not to regret the 
passing of so commercial a motto. 

Philip Becker Goetz. 

What He Craved 

"G. G. A.," a contributor to Good 
Housekeeping, writes a story called "A 
Young Wife's Confession," which needs 
renaming. It should be called "A 
Young Bachelor's Obsession." This 
G. G. A. is by no means a wife, young 
or old, nor even a husband, but some 
lad unacquainted with the details of 
household work, and imbued with the 
ideals of the eighteenth century. Here 
we have "a sensitive, high-spirited 
woman of twenty-five," "drawing a 
salary of fifteen hundred dollars a year, 

dressing and living well," who pre- 
sently marries "a clerk whose hours 
were long and whose income was fifteen 
dollars a week," of which he paid half 
for rent of a five-room flat. This per- 
son is described as being "a man good 
and true as steel, who would have made 
a splendid husband for the right wo- 
man" ; and it becomes presently appar- 
ent that the right woman for "him was 
a Dutch housemaid, a two-hundred- 
and-sixty-dollar-a-year woman — "and 
found." He "craved a little well- 
cared-for corner which would be a 
home in every sense of the word, pre- 
sided over by a systematic, cheerful, 
and contented little woman who would 
have made it and him her pride. Such 
a woman would have been his queen 
and would have been treated as one." 
The italics are mine. The word 
"queen" must have a weird connota- 
tion in this man's mind. A female 
systematically cheerful and content in 
housework for two and the society of 
one man may be called "a treasure" 
in the sense of an invaluable servant — 
but is scarcely regal. 

If Prince Albert, on marrying Queen 
Victoria, had been able to confine her 
labors, interests, and "pride" to house- 
work and to him he might by some in- 
tellectual acrobaticshavestill considered 
her as "his queen"; but could hardly 
have persuaded himself — or her — that 
she was treated as such. The sinful 
heroine of this masterly tale seems to 
regret giving up $1500 a year, work she 
liked, association, and general respect, 
for half of $780 and solitary confine- 
ment to a two-hundred-and-sixty-dollar- 
woman job. 

In order to add to his black picture 
this callow youth describes a practical 
and experienced business woman of 
twenty-five as going around "with hair 
uncombed, shoes unbuttoned, and clad 
in a wrapper none too clean." Just 
why the brisk neatness essential to 
years of business success should have 
thus sunk to shame is not explained — 
why be too precise in one's psychology 
on a subject one knows nothing about? 

This angel of unselfishness, who had 
cheerfully allowed the woman who 
loved him to give up §uio a year and 

The Editor's Clearinghouse 


undertake distasteful labor for his per- 
sonal service (subtract half of $780 
from $1500 for above loss), is remark- 
ably patient under her evil behavior. 

He was unfailing in his cheerful kiss 
at going and coming, never complained 
of her errors and omissions, helped 
wash the dishes at night, and on Sun- 
days turned to and cleaned the flat. 
After a long time of this voiceless virtue 
the worm turned one day, and went so 
far as to suggest that this offensive 
woman clean her teeth (one wonders in 
vain why she had discontinued this bit 
of personal hygiene), comb her hair, and 
put on a fresh wrapper. This was his 
first criticism in two years. For two 
years this unusually able woman (for 
not every working girl can command 
her previous salary) had spent every 
day and all day in a dirty wrapper, 
doing nothing but read novels. Stung 
to the quick by this comment on his 
part, she first weeps from 7.45 till 
nearly 11 A.M., at the same time plan- 
ning her campaign. And it was a 
campaign. We now see something of 
the dormant capacity once worth $1500. 
No mere charwoman, no housemaid, no 
ordinary wife — or queen — could ac- 
complish what she did when really 
aroused. Here is the campaign : 

I cleaned the ceiling, the walls, the floors ; and 
washed the windows, put up fresh curtains, and 
blacked the range, scoured the sink and the ice-box, 
rearranged the pantries, put clean linen on the 
table, and did what I had never done before — 
sewed a button on the band of his shirt and darned 
a pair of socks. 

By this time, says this guileless preten- 
der of "A Young Wife," ''it was late." 
Late! It would have been late next 
day. Does this man really imagine 
that housework is a kind of witchcraft, 
requiring only " a little wife well-willed" 
and it is done? Has he no faintest 
conception of the hours of time and 
foot-pounds of strength required to do 
a piece of house-cleaning like that — 
even by an expert? And here is this 
limp sloven, rising in a burst of genius 
after two years' solid idleness, and 
doing this miracle between 11 A. M. and 
— "late" ! She still has time to bathe, 
comb her hair, clean her teeth and nails 

(the previous condition of this whilom 
successful business woman is revolting 
to think of), put on the dress he liked 
best and a clean white apron. Then 
she prepared the daintiest supper she 
knew how. 

But alas! Her supernatural energy 
deserted her when it was all over and 
he had come home — so proud and 
pleased that the queen had got to work 
at last! — and she was cross. 

Time passes. Presently two babies 
arrive, and the husband getting "a 
raise" of "just double his former sal- 
ary," which is about what she got 
before, they move into the suburbs. 
He remains an angel — never a vice 
appears — no touch of temper or criti- 
cism ; he simply took himself off eve- 
nings, and after eight years this "clever 
and brainy woman" "noticed the 
growing indifference and began to 
realize that his love for me was dying." 

This person's previous position must 
have been that of companion to an 
idiot. No — it says she was employed 
by "one of the most prominent corpo- 
rations in the United States," — and 
there is no syndicate of Insane Asylums 
yet, that I know of. 

Having grasped this astonishing fact, 
our intelligent friend "spent the most 
of a day trying to grasp Walter's idea 
of the ideal wife and mother." 

It does seem as if she could have got 
hold of it sooner. It was by no means 
abstruse. All the man "craved," as 
he repeatedly said, was cleanliness and 
quiet, and, — yes, cheerfulness. He 
was not ambitious — not in the least 
exacting. If he had only had a little 
more money he would have been per- 
fectly satisfied with a Chinaman. 
Chinese help is clean, quiet, and cheer- 
ful — economical, too, and does not 
mind monotony. 

The good man is really to be pitied 
for his inability to compass so simple 
an ideal. On fifteen dollars a week 
one can hardly afford to give even 
three dollars for a servant, board two, 
pay rent, and all the rest. No — he 
was poor, and he must have a wife or 
no servant at all. Why he should have 
selected one so expensive and inexpert 
is the only mystery — he was surely 

1 88 

The Critic 

thoughtless in his choice. Having 
made it he stuck to it manfully; and 
after eight years his patience was re- 
warded. She reformed. She grasped, 
after an all-day effort, this great Ideal, 
and strove to attain it. And, in course 
of time she did. After earnest and 
prolonged effort she learned to clean 
her teeth, to comb her hair, to wear 
clean clothes — even to decorate a little 

She learned, being "a clever and 
brainy woman," to sweep and dust 
and wash and iron and cook and sew 
and take care of the children. ' ' Every 
move became a labor of love," she says 
proudly — not moving the household 
goods to another domicile, but just 
moving around in the house. 

The ever - virtuous husband re- 
sponded with ardor, and they pro- 
ceeded to enjoy an interrupted honey- 
moon; but, as the young wife wisely 
says, it would not be safe to put most 
men to so long a test. 

There are two ways in which all this 
painful difficulty might have been 
avoided. One is for the noble-minded 
young man who wanted a queen to 
have gone to the nearest intelligence 
office and hired one on trial. If, as it 

appears, he could not have afforded 
this, he should have chanced it and 
married one outright — he could hardly 
have slipped up on it worse than he 
did. Or he could have got a job as an 
iceman and satisfied himself as to royal 
capacity in many a kitchen before he 
committed himself. 

The other way is so simple that we 
wonder neither this unselfish and de- 
voted husband nor the uncommonly 
able woman thought of it. 

She should have kept her job. Then 
they would have had $2280 a year. A 
five-dollar servant, with three dollars a 
week more allowed for her board and 
room, and five dollars a month more 
for rent, would have raised their ex- 
penses from his $780 to $1256. They 
would thus have a clear §1024 a year to 
lay up against the coming of the babies. 
With a contribution like this to the 
family funds perhaps the young wife 
would have preserved her self-respect, 
worn something other than a wrapper, 
and cleaned her teeth with gratifying 

But this ideal husband did not want 
an able coadjutor. He wanted a — 
queen ! 

Charlotte Perkins Gilman. 



THE New World's first great humorist and the best, 

Irving, sleeps out his slow half-century — 

Our arch-retainer of humanity, 
Lord of the courts of laughter in the West. 
Now England's Minster gathers to her breast 

The English Irving; — last and greatest he 

Of such as ruled the realm of tragedy, 
In that long line to mimic art addressed. 
What bonds then broke! — what laughter and what tears 

That hour ran mingling on the unseen shore 
When Irving Irving met! — oh dream not so; 
But know them, full revealed, among their peers, 

Stripped of the masks that here in time they wore, 
Heart-sweet and whole in Heaven's unclouded glow. 

The Book=Buyer's Guide 


Birrell — In the Name of the Bodleian, and 
Other Essays. By Augustine Birrell. 
Scribner, $1.00. 
The title essay in this graceful little bundle by 
the author of " Obiter Dicta " is by no means 
the easy chief of the lot. While doing justice 
to Sir Thomas Bodley, there is not that lov- 
ing, affectionate intimacy with the library itself 
which would show that the writer had ever 
been among the faithful haunters of the dusty, 
musty place. Yet that is an apt suggestion 
of his, that a new benefactor could do as ex- 
cellent service to this "glorious foundation" 
as did Sir Thomas Bodley. Very complete, 
too, is Mr. Birrell 's picture of that public- 
spirited gentleman, and his deft manner of 
handling his theme, in brief yet with justice 
to the subject, ought to induce some one to 
hearken to the statement that fresh gifts 
would be very timely. Not long ago a reader 
from this side the sea, impressed by the hos- 
pitality and by the poverty of the Bodelian, 
wrote from its own recesses to the greatest 
giver of libraries that the world has ever seen, 
begging him to turn his thoughts for a moment 
from the reading public to this treasure house 
of the English-speaking race. Into the mists 
of Scotland the bold petition travelled, and 
no response ever journeyed back again. Per- 
haps a kind Fate may cause that library- 
lover's hand to open this volume and Mr. 
Birrell 's words may strike home. 

Pleasant are the sketches in some of the 
other essays, based, as a rule, on some event 
or other. But even when written as book 
reviews there is a note that promises longer 
life to the words than that of mere criticism. 
Arthur Young, for example, has here a re- 
introduction to the public, who may read this 
without taking the whole autobiography that 
inspired it and it will perhaps be wise enough 
for his purpose. So with the others. They 
are very illuminating. 

Brewster — Representative Essays on the 
Theory of Style. Chosen and Edited by 
William T. Brewster. Macmillan. $1.10. 
A collection of essays, lectures, etc., in which 
the subject of literary style is discussed by 
certain of its masters — Newman, De Quincey, 
Spencer, Lewes, Stevenson, Pater, and Fred- 
eric Harrison. The book is intended primar- 
ily for students of rhetoric, but there are few 
professional writers whose work might not be 
the better for a careful reading of any one of 
these papers. 

Crosland— The Wild Irishman. By T. W. H. 

Crosland. Appleton. $1.50. 
The author of this book is of those who come 
to scoff and remain to pray. One expects of 
him bitter sarcasm and finds on the whole 
kindly appreciation. The Irishman is appar- 
ently a more decent fellow than the Scotsman 
in Mr. Crosland 's opinion. Ireland needs, in 

fact, to get rid of the Scots who have settled 
there. Then there would be a chance for 
Irish virtues to develop. These virtues are 
precisely the reverse of those with which the 
race has usually been credited. As a dealer 
in paradox Mr. Crosland can do no less than 
say this. There is some truth in paradox, 
and when we are told that excess of morality 
in one direction may mean excess of crimin- 
ality in another, we are willing to believe it. 
Similarly Irish humor may have been over- 
estimated. Mr. Crosland 's satiric comments 
upon the Neo-Celtic movement are timely and 
salutary. A country afflicted with that is 
surely "most distressful. '- 

Howells — London Films. By W. D. Howells. 

Illustrated. Harper. $2.25 net. 
These are not mere snapshots at scenes in the 
greatest of the world's great cities, for Mr. 
Howells is very much at home in London, and 
what he sees there to-day is colored more or 
less vividly by his recollections of what he 
observed on his first visit and later ones. He 
by no means disdains to treat of hackneyed 
themes, and a large majority of his readers 
will enjoy the book none the less for this 
reason. It is the obvious and familiar, not 
the recondite, that charms most people so- 
journing in London; and the greater number 
of these films record sights that are more or 
less vividly impressed on the retina of almost 
every American visitor to the City of Cities. 
The author's style, here as elsewhere, is lucid- 
ity itself; and for this reason, as for others, 
it is interesting to compare these impressions 
of a distinguished American novelist revisit- 
ing England, with those of another eminent 
American fiction writer who is now recording 
the effect upon his mind of a brief sojourn 
here after long residence abroad. 

Symons — Spiritual Adventures. By Arthur 

Symons. Dutton. $2.50 net. 
In reviewing an English book, the American 
critic is in a dilemma which is not readily 
overcome. He must needs revert his mind 
to the greater literary traditions of the mother 
country, and an English volume, irrespective 
of its merit, trailing ever so faint a light of 
the national glory, necessarily throws a little 
dust in the somewhat critical eye of the book- 
man. But in the volume before us we have 
rather less difficulty, as these stories, half a 
dozen in all, belong to a school rather than a 
country : the school of the Decadents, unfor- 
tunately. It is Mr. Symons 's simple and force- 
ful style, with its delicate psychic touches, 
combined with his really great gift for the 
vital story, which disarms our criticism of his 
philosophy. "Esther Kahn" is perhaps the 
most wholesome of these haunting stories, 
having a definite culmination in the creation 
of the artist through suffering. But, on the 
whole, "The Death of Peter Waydelin" is the 
achievement of the book, in the tragedy and 
realistic horror of its setting. Mr. Symons 



The Critic 

has fulfilled his genius in this style of work. 
His attitude towards the gentler sex is best 
expressed by himself in these lines from his 
"Christian Trevalga." "To live with a 
woman, thought Christian, in the same house, 
the same room with her, is as if the keeper 
were condemned to live by day and sleep by 
night in the wild beast's cage. It is to be on 
one's guard every minute, to apprehend al- 
ways the claws behind the caressing softness 
of their padded coverings, to be continually 
ready to amuse one's dangerous slave with 
one's life for the forfeit. The strain of it, the 
trial to the nerves, the temper! it was not to 
be thought of calmly. He looked around him 
and saw all the other keepers of these ferocious, 
uncertain creatures, wearing out their lives 
in the exciting companionship: and a dread 
of women took the place of his luxurious in- 
difference." One is tempted to quote more of 
Mr. Symons because of the fascination of the 
style, and a certain truthfulness in the theme, 
but it must be admitted that we hope for him 
in the future a broader and cheerier philosophy 
when he has reinforced his knowledge of the 
sensual woman with a deeper knowledge of 
the spiritual woman. 


Ma cf all— Whistler: Butterfly, Wasp, Wit, etc. 

By Haldane Macfall. Edinburgh: T.N. 

Foulis. 6d., is., 2s. 6d. 
A biographical and critical essay of ten thou- 
sand words or less, set off with half-tone re- 
productions of etchings of this "Londoner to 
the bone." 

Vignaud — Vie de Colomb. Par Henri Vignaud. 

Paris: H. Welter; New York: Lemcke 

& Buchner. $3.00. 
'An octavo of over 500 pages, consisting of 
essays on the origins of the discoverer's fam- 
ily, the date of his birth, his voyage to the 
North, his settlement in Portugal, his mar- 
riage, and other topics more or less closely 
related to these. The learned Secretary of the 
American Embassy in Paris has long been 
known as a high authority on all matters per- 
taining to the personality and the achieve- 
ments of Columbus, and his reputation will 
be greatly strengthened by the publication of 
this volume. 


Chamblin — Lady Bobs, Her Brother, and I. 

A Romance of the Azores. By Jean 

Chamblin. Putnam. $1.25. 
"An obscure actress," without "talent enough 
for success, or vanity enough for failure," 
seeking rest and a place where she can "fight 
it out with herself," finds herself embarked, 
at Brooklyn, on the Dona Maria — her des- 
tination the Azores. To her friend Nora she 
writes a series of letters briefly describing the 
voyage, and telling at greater length of what 
she sees and experiences in a little visited but 
most picturesque corner of the globe. Un- 
less the actress were a born writer, the pub- 
lication of her correspondence would interest 

no one but herself and Nora. As it happens, 
however, she has a facile and humorous pen, 
and her letters are literature. Her voyage to 
the Portuguese islands, her sightseeing trips 
when she reaches them, and her unforeseen 
meeting with Lady Bobs's brother (an old 
flame), and its romantic sequel — these furnish 
the material for a very fresh and entertaining 
story. There is a fanciful frontispiece in color 
and half-tone photographs confirm the au- 
thor's well-sketched verbal pictures of a ro- 
mantic and unhackneyed region. 

Goodloe — At the Foot of the Rockies. By 

Carter Goodloe. Scribner. $1.50. 
A group of capital stories of life at a military 
post in the Northwest Territories — a Mounted 
Police detachment in Alberta. English (and 
colonial-English) soldiers and civilians, in- 
cluding women and children, and a sprinkling 
— or rather more than a sprinkling — of red 
Indians, are the dramatis persona of these 
tales. Good as the stories are in themselves, 
they have gained much in the telling; for 
Miss Goodloe has just the right dramatic and 
artistic touch, knowing as well what to omit 
as what to include, in treating the episodes 
that furnish the material for her sketches. 

Harrison — The Carlyles. By Mrs. Burton 

Harrison. Appleton. $1.50. 
In her latest novel, Mrs. Harrison has not 
given us an "international romance" in the 
sense in which that phrase is understood now- 
adays — though there is more or less in it about 
the Confederate colony in Paris after the Civil 
War. It is, instead, a story of North and 
South immediately after the Rebellion, the 
scene opening in Richmond on the day the 
Unionist forces entered the burning city. The 
Carlyles are old-line Southerners, whose pa- 
triotism is none the less pure and ardent for 
being sectional; and one feels that the hero 
and the heroine's father — Carlyles both — are 
sketched from life. Having made which re- 
mark, one has a moment's misgivings as to 
whether "Mona" Carlyle and her gallant 
cousin "Lance" are the heroine and hero- 
after all, rather than Cecil Dare and Donald 
Lyndsay. However this may be, there is no 
doubt as to the charm of the book and the 
accuracy of the picture it presents of certain 
aspects of post-bellum life in Dixie. 

Mott — Jules of the Great Heart. By Law- 
rence Mott. Century. $1.50. 
A striking story of a French-Canadian trapper 
of a century or so agone, who makes a long 
and on the whole a losing fight with the fac- 
tors and trappers of the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany in the far Northwest. Jules Verbaux 
is a man of great strength and courage and 
adroitness, not free from human passions, but 
kindly and magnanimous. His wife has been 
stolen away from him, and this is the story, 
with "incidental divertissements," of his 
weary but at last successful search for her. 
It is strong, imaginative, and picturesque, and 
as the first work of a very young writer de- 
serves to be specially noted. The dialect — a 
melange of French-English and English- 

The Book= Buyer's Guide 


French — is about the thorniest we have ever 
had to cope withal, and is likely to discour- 
age many readers. We miss the striking illus- 
trations of Schoonover that accompanied such 
of the chapters of the book as appeared in The 
Century, though one of them serves as a 

Wright — Where Copper was King. By James 

North Wright. Small, Maynard. $1.50. 
In the guise of a novel, a former Superintend- 
ent of the Calumet and Heclamine describes the 
life of the mining folk who did such fruitful pio- 
neer work in the upper peninsula of Michigan 
some forty years ago. The total amount paid 
in by original holders of the stock of this cop- 
per-mining company was $12 per share, the 
value of each of its shares is now about $700, 
and it has paid out over $90,000,000 in divi- 
dends. These facts have given the property 
an extraordinary reputation, and will attract 
attention to a book about the mine by one of 
the directors of the company. It should be 
said, however, that the story is not, in any 
sense, an advertisement. The real name of 
the mine is not used, and the figures given 
above are not derived from this source. 


Bigelow— The German Struggle for Liberty. 

By Poultney Bigelow. Harper. $2.25. 
Vol. IV. 
The fourth volume on the attempts to obtain 
constitutional liberty in Germany covers the 
period of the Revolution of 1848. It contains 
the same slap-dash miscellaneous kind of mat- 
ter as do its three predecessors, and does not 
deserve, any more than they, to be ranked as 
history according to any established canon, 
nor as literature if grace of style and a clear 
thread of consecutive narrative are to be re- 
garded as necessary. The book may be de- 
scribed as a series of composite photographs 
of certain participants in the mid-nineteenth- 
century events based on any radical opinion 
that could be caught in various haphazard 

It could hardly be understood without 
reference to other books if the reader were 
new to the subject, so that it can be of little 
use to a new generation by itself if they 
would gain a comprehension of the part 
played by the characters herein depicted with 
a slashing journalistic pencil. Readable as 
parts of Mr. Bigelow 's ' ' history ' ' are, the whole 
cannot be regarded as a serious contribution 
to the literature on Germany. 

Curtis — India. By William Eleroy Curtis. 

Revell. $2.00. 
The modern maker of descriptive books of 
observation does not travel like Cicsar, who 
swam to shore with his manuscript in his 
mouth. It is in Pullman palace-car or luxuri- 
ous "Wagon-Lit," or on ocean greyhound, 
that this owner and daily user of a type- 
writing machine lives, moves, and has his 
being. From observation to keyboard he 
arrives before the evening meal. He posts his 
letter to Chicago before Lyra has passed zen- 

ith. Then, on native terra-firma, he revises, 
reads proof; and, behold, a book! But, as 
hot cakes and syrup are relishable, so we con- 
fess to enjoying Mr. Curtis 's quick, photo- 
graphic style. Besides, he tells us much that 
most books leave out. He helps us to adjust 
traditional notions to present-day reality. 
Jewelled India, with the various courses and 
strata in its civilization, its "varieties of re- 
ligious experience," its jungles of dogma, its 
forests of idols, with the show and throng of 
the bazar, are all here on his pages, indeed, 
but Mr. Curtis is also an inquiring Yankee. 
He goes beyond the mirror. He reveals. He 
criticises. We admire things American, espe- 
cially American women, more than ever. Our 
patriotism warms. Yet he tells us also that 
native princes are not mere puppets. They 
not only rule, but govern. They care for their 
people. With much to criticise in the past, 
British administration is noble, practical, suc- 
cessful, and worthy of study by American 
statesmen. Which of Asiatic lands would 
most fascinate the scholar and tempt to long 
residence the man who loves to solve prob- 
lems? Egypt, India, China, Japan? After 
reading Mr. Curtis 's book we answer without 
faltering, "India." It is the London among 

Humphrey — The Indian Dispossessed. By 

Seth K. Humphrey. Little, Brown. 

$1.50 net. 
In effect a sequel, or supplement, to the late 
Helen Jackson's "A Century of Dishonor." 
The fact that public attention cannot be 
effectually drawn to the evils here attacked, 
save in the form of fiction, is responsible for 
Mrs. Jackson's having followed up her book 
of facts with the highly popular novel "Ra- 
mona." The present work is illustrated with 
sixteen photographic portraits. 

Joubert — The Truth about the Tsar and the 
Present State of Russia. By Carl Jou- 
bert. Lippincott. $2.00. 
It is not Russia that has gone mad but 
Tsardom. As autocratic sovereigns, the hours 
of the Romanoffs are numbered. A constitu- 
tional monarchy or the United States of 
Russia are the only alternatives possible. 
Such are the opinions of Carl Joubert — who 
claims to know both the land and the ruler, 
and who reiterates in this volume the ideas he 
promulgated in "Russia as It Really Is." 
Though he acknowledges ignorance among 
the people, he still accredits clear, well- 
defined theories of what Russia needs to all 
classes, educated and uneducated alike. He 
claims that the great Revolutionary party in 
Russia is working quietly and steadily toward 
its goal and accumulating treasures against 
the day when they will be needed. But this 
claim was made some months ago. Already 
the prophecy is a back number, for events 
have marched fast in the land. Joubert 
speaks of an explosion like the French Revo- 
lution. Already many more victims have 
fallen in Russia than in the whole period of 
the French Terror, and the end is not yet. 
Much of the Tsar's policy is the fault of the 


The Critic 

Dowager, reactionary in the extreme and 
wholly sympathetic with the measures adopted 
by Plehve, who, in our author's opinion, met 
a deserved death. Not pleasant is this pic- 
ture of mother and son, nor indeed that of the 
whole realm riddled with treasonable thought 
and plots against the monarch, — a monarch 
who refused to avert the dire catastrophe 
menacing his dynasty. Journalistic in style, 
the book is interesting because at this mo- 
ment everything connected with the subject 
attracts attention. Even if only half its state- 
ments are true, it is still worth reading, — now 
when the fate of the weak, dreaming monarch 
is still in the balance, and when it is still a 
question whether the moujiks are fitted for 
self-government as the author thinks. 

Reed— The Brother's War. By John C. Reed. 

Little, Brown, & Co. $2.00. 
Certain subjects have fallen into accepted 
lines, and phrases used in their regard have 
become merely Conventional signs indicating 
the speaker's point of view without rousing 
new thoughts to activity in auditors of the 
same way of thinking. Discussions on the 
Civil War reveal many such phrases ready for 
use, often the heritage of those who use them, 
because the latter were born after the great 
national experience of the fifties and sixties, 
but born nevertheless into fixed grooves of 
opinion. Celebrations like the Garrison Cen- 
tennial bring out, moreover, reminiscences of 
anti-slavery agitation, and give the present 
generation whiffs from an atmosphere of the 
past and a past with which they are familiar 
from the literature they have been fed upon. 
Now to the host of volumes from the Northern 
point of view is added a new one from the 
Southern, yet claiming to be wholly dispas- 
sionate in its survey of the causes leading up 
to the Civil War. And this claim must be 
allowed. Member of a slave-holding family, 
Mr. Reed fought through the war as a devoted 
son of Georgia, an ardent believer in the Con- 
federacy, and convinced from theory and 
from experience that the negroes were an in- 
ferior race, suited only to a life of dependence 
upon Caucasians. Furthermore, he held that 
the Africans were most fortunate in their 
forced immigration to America. With a 
record that might easily rank him among the 
unreconstructed, he certainly gives honor to 
both sides with marvellous impartiality. It 
is a very honest book, and the reader cannot 
help admiring the writer for his justice toward 
his late foes in a conflict still vivid to his 
memory. But his words springing from his 

point of view remind us that it is an alien one 
to all our traditions. Appreciation for the 
Ku-Klux Klan, for example, has a strangely 
unfamiliar sound, as have, too, his phrases 
in regard to slavery. The author does not 
confine himself to the causes of the war, 
causes wherein the actors, to his mind, were 
moved by much higher than the apparent 
reasons. His last chapters are devoted to the 
present, and his conclusions are (1) that both 
sides were right in the war; (2) that slavery 
was a curse to the slaveholders and a blessing 
to the slaves; (3) that the condition of the 
negroes in the South at the present, excepting 
the few thousands lifted by Tuskegee and 
Hampton, is deplorable and menacing to the 
whole social organism; (4) that the one solu- 
tion possible, to redeem the error of giving the 
franchise to the negroes, is to establish the 
whole race in a state of their own, giving them 
first territorial government and letting them 
gradually become equal to other States. 

It is a bold proposition, and should, per- 
haps, receive consideration. Certainly the 
book deserves attention, whether the pro- 
posed solution does or not. It is not exactly 
well written, but it is distinctly impressionist 
and first-hand. And in these days of book- 
making that alone is a pass to the gentle 
Munk — Arizona Sketches. By J. A. Munk, 

M.D. Grafton Press. $2.00 net. 
Nearly twenty-two years ago the author of 
this book went to Arizona, where, in 1883, his 
brother had located a cattle ranch for their 
joint occupation. The southeastern part of 
the territory is especially familiar to him, his 
recollections covering the period of the last 
Indian raid, under Geronimo, in 1885. Since 
then the Apaches have been no less peaceful 
than the Pueblos themselves. Dr. Munk's 
style is wholly lacking in literary finish, but 
his account of ranch life and other matters in 
the southwestern corner of the United States 
teems with interesting facts and photographs. 


Pulitzer — A Cynic's Meditations. By Walter 

Pulitzer. Dodge. $.75 
These meditations of an amiable cynic are all 
in the approved apothegmatic form. "In 
marriage he who hesitates is bossed." "If 
woman makes all the trouble in life, it 's 
woman who makes life worth all the trouble. " 
Illustrations and decorative borders make the 
booklet attractive to the eye. 

(For list of books received see third page following) 

The Critic Advertiser 

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When writing to Advertisers please mention THE CRITIC 

The Critic Advertiser 

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The President as a Plain Human Being 

Outdoors in Politics 

Raising Up Little John Hays 

The United States Temperament 

The Little Plot of Heaven Up Here 

The Bell Down in the Haze 

On Walking Alone 

People Who Say "Oh" 

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send you free a sample tube of Dentacura and 
our booklet, "Taking Care of the Teeth." 
Write at once. Offei expires March I, 1906. 
Dentacura may be had at most toilet 
counters. Price 25c. If your dealer does not 
have it we will send it on receipt of price. 

When writing to Advertisers please mention THE CRITIC 

The Critic Advertiser 



Love Alone 
Is Lord 


Author of " The Jessamy Bride," etc. 

Crown 8vo. $1.50. 

This latest book by the author 
of The Jessamy Bride has for 
its theme the only really ideal 
love affair in the romantic life of 
Lord Byron. The story opens dur- 
ing the poet's boyhood and tells 
of his early devotion to his 
cousin, Mary Chaworth. Mr. 
Moore has followed history very 
closely, and his descriptions of 
London society when Byron was 
the rage are as accurate as they are 
dramatic. Lady Caroline Lamb 
figures prominently in the story, 
but the heroine continues to be 
Byron's early love, Mary Chaworth. 
His attachment for his cousin was 
the strongest and most enduring of 
his life, and it failed of realization 
only by the narrowest of chances. 

"A fascinating- romance " 

Indianapolis News. 

Scarlet Pimpernel 


Cro7un 8vo. With illustrations 

from Photographs of the Play 


" A dramatic romance of the days of 
the French Revolution and the I£niigr6 
nobles. The screws of interest are put 
on in the first page and are not loosened 
until the last. The plot is verj' ingen- 
ious and cleverly handled and the whole 
story of unusual dramatic interest".— 
N. Y. Globe. 

A Digit of the Moon 

And Other Love Stories from the Hindoo 
Translated by F. W. BAIN 

Crown 8vo, illustrated, $1.50. 

Redolent with scent of the lotus ; full of the rich, warm 

coloring of the mystic East; passionate yet delicate ; subtle 

in their luring charm, these love stories are gems of literature. 

"Charming love stories that will be absolutely novel to most 

readers. They are delicate, vivid, and told in beautiful English."— 

N. Y. Sun. 

Under Guiding Stars 

A Massachusetts Story of the Century End 

Author of " Boston Neighbors," etc. 

Crown 8vo, $1.25. 

Miss Poor's earlier book, Boston Neighbors, has been 
spoken of as "bright, witty, and sensible, . . . written 
with sight and insight by a shrewd observer of men, women, 
and things." Her new book is a charming story of New 
England, marked by the same good qualities. Its characters 
are real types of life in a New England town. 

Our Best Society 

Crown 8vo, $1.50. 

A novel dealing with the life of 
the rich in New York. There has 
been much curiosity in regard 
to the authorship of this story, 
which after a success as a serial in 
The Critiehas just been published 
in book form. That it is the work 
of an experienced writer there 
can be no doubt ; on every page 
it shows the hand of an expert. 
It combines exciting episodes 
with incisive character studies 
and humorous treatment. 

Send for New 

G. P. Putnam's Sons 

27 (Sb 29 West 
23d Street 

New Yorh 

When writing to Advertisers please mention THE CRITIC 

The Critic Advertiser 

By HERBERT STRANG, "The Successor to Henty" 

The Adventures of Harry Rochester 

A Tale of the Days of Marlborough 
and Eugene 

" Three such successes as Mr. Strang has now achieved 
definitely establish his position and should fully reassure 
those who despondingly wondered when and where a 
worthy successor to Mr. Henty would appear." — Glasgow 

" Mr. Henty's mantle may most worthily be worn by Mr. 
Herbert Strang." — Truth. 

" Told with a dash and vigor which mark him out as 
Henty's natural successor." — Notts Guardian. 


A Story of the Russo=Japanese War 

" For vibrant actuality there is nothing to come up to 
Mr. Strang's KOBO."— The Academy. 

" An excellant story, such as one might expect to have 
from the author of that capital book Tom Burnaby." 

— The Spectator. 

" The main interest of the story centres in the doings 
of Kobo, the intrepid Japanese spy, and his friend Bob 
Fawcett, an English engineer in the Mikado's service. 
. . . Chang-Wo, the one-eared Manchu brigand, their 
arch enemy and ally of the Russians, takes a scarcely 
secondary place." — The Athenceum. 


The Light Brigade in Spain 

The Last Fight of Sir John Moore 

" Mr. Strang's name will suffice to assure us that the 
subject is seriously treated, and a better subject could 
hardly be found. . . . Altogether it is a capital story." 

— The Spectator. 

"In one respect Mr. Strang's tale is even better than 
many of the late G. A. Henty's. It has more dash and 
dialogue." — The Dundee Advertiser. 

Three Volumes. Illustrated by William Rainey, R.I. Ornamental covers. Each, $1.50 

Send for new 
Illustrated Catalogue 


27 & 20 West 23d 
Street, New York 

When writing to Advertisers please mention THE CRITIC 

The Critic Advertiser 

IDisitina !Eists 

A complete line, fancy leather bindings, all sizes. 

Ubeatre IRecorfts 

Leather bound, printed leaves arranged for Programmes, etc. 
Two sizes. 


27 and 29 West 23d Street, New York City 

When writing to Advertisers please mention THE CRITIC 

The Critic Advertiser. 




Life Insurance Company 

GEORGE E. IDE, President, 
No. 256 Broadway, New York. 




*Bonds and Mortgages $5,005,089.19 

Bonds and Stocks (market value) 8,597,019.43 

Real Estate (cost value) 1,656,699.76 

Collateral Loans 5,950.00 

Loans to policy-holders 1,736,254.13 

Cash in Banks and Trust Com- 

Interest and 


Renewal Premiums in transit and 
Deferred Premiums, less cost 
of collection 

Rents due and 






Policy Reserve at 3, 3K and 4 per 
cent, interest $14,808,910.00 

Present Value of all Dividend- 
Endowment Accumulations 
(Deferred Dividends) 1,453,907.00 

Total as per certificate of N. Y. 

Insurance Dept $16,262,817.00 


Total $17,886,594.88 

*Of the Mortgage Loans of the Company 
City, 78 per cent, is guaranteed as to principal and interest, and all are on a basis not exceeding 
60 per cent, ol a conservative valuation. 

All other liabilities 

Fund voluntarily set aside to 

meet possible fluctuations in 

the price of securities, &c 225,000.00 

Reserve to provide for all other 

contingencies 1,204,400.47 

Total $17,886,594.88 

per cent, is on property located in New York 



(New $726,104.02 

I Renewals 2,490,038.66 


Interest , Rents 824,260.75 


Death Claims, Matured 
Endowment and An- 
nuities $1,211,894.90 

Dividends to Policy- 
holders 270,277.50 

Surrender Values 243,161.88 

All other Disbursements 944,105-97 


Excess of Income over 

Disbursements 1,370,963,18 

Tota , $4,040,403.43 Total $4,040,403.43 

Number of Paid-for Policies in Force, 44,615, being an increase of 3,074 

Amount of Paid-for Insurance in Force, $79,775,340, being an increase of $4,883,051 





Increase in Renewal Premium Income.. 7.70 

" Total Premium Income 5.86 

" Admitted Assets 7.71 

Increase in Policy Reserves 

" " Paid-for Insurance in Force.. 6.52 
" Deferred Dividend Fund 12.70 

WILLIAM A. MARSHALL, Vice-President and Actuary. 
ELLIS W. GLADWIN, Vice-President and Secretary. 
WILLIAM G LOW, Vice-President and General Counsel. 
upmdv f inp AccVctant Secretary FRANK W. CHAPIN, Medical Director. 

r!^; R U V EL E H" ) A E RNSt , ^ a c n ou S n s C er; r, • JULIUS C BIERW.RTH Associate Medics, Director. 

GEORGE W. MURRAY, Supt. of Agents. FRED K. C. HILLIARD. Cashier. 








When writing to Advertisers please mention THE CRITIC. 

The Critic Advertiser 
"The Leading Fire Insurance Company of America." \A 



*' Insurance Company k 

On the 3 1st day of December, 1905. 


Cash Capital, - $4,000,000.00 

Reserve? Re-Insurance (Fire) - - • - - 4,884,215.53 

Reserve, Re-Insurance (Inland) - - - - 132,678.89 

Reserve, Unpaid Losses (Fire) ----- 323,885.17 

Reserve, Unpaid Losses (Inland) - 120,894.48 

Other Claims ------- 317,611.87 

Net Surplus . _ . 7,Q36, OIQ.93 

gV Total Assets . . . . 16,815,296.87 ik 

G) Surplus as to Policy-Holders $11,036,010.93 G) 



WM. B. CLARK, President 

W. H. KING, Secretary 


Assistant Secretaries 




Traction Building, Cincinnati, O. ( General Agents. 


Omaha, Neb. ) W. P. HARFORD, Assistant General Agent 

San Francisco, Cal. j General Agents. 

CHICAGO, Ills., 145 La Salle Street. 
NEW YORK, 93 and 95 William Street, 

PHILADELPHIA, 226 Walnut Street. 


When writing to Advertisers please mention THE CRITIC 

The Latent and Greatest 
of the Writing 
Machine is the 


of th< 


It sets a new standard for 

Lightness of Touch, 
Swiftness of Action 
and Permanent Excel- 
lence of Work. 

The New Remington 

MODELS also have a New 
Variable Line Spacer, New 
Side Guide, New Two Color 
Lever and other important 

Remington Typewriter Company 

325-327 Broadway, New York Branches Everywhere 

When writing to Advertisers please mention THE CRITIC 


At Last a Perfect 
Visible Typewriter 

The One Typewriter That Correctly 
Solves the Objections That Have 
Always Heretofore Been Made 
Against "Front Strike" Machines. 


A TYPE BAR that has a pivot bearing 7-16 of an inch ; 

- use made possible by the manner in which 
the type bars are assembled. This method of assem- 
Uingthe type barsis the greatest invention made in 
typewriter building in years. It means an adjustable 
bearing, insures the most perfect alignment at all 
ti:nes and guarantees durability. 
A BALL BEARING CARRIAGE having a tension 
of only 1 pjund requiring one-fourth the amount of 
energy to operate it as compared to others. 
whereby either color desired can be secured by simply 
I a. button on the keyboard ; ribbon both 
oscillates and reverses automatically. 
removable when longer one may be substituted. 
A LINE LOCK that is absolutely perfect. 
A DECIMAL TABULATOR attached when ordered 
— the only decimal tabulator on a visible machine. 

Unprejudiced experts who have examined this 
machine pronounce it a marvel. 

Rea iv for delivery now and placed on trial with 
responsible parties. Descriptive literature on request. 

The regular models of the Fox are still the 
most nerfect machines of their kind and their 
manufacture will be continued as before. 

Fox Typewriter Company 

Executive Office and Factory 

630 Front St., Grand Rapids, Mich. 

Branch Offices or Dealers in Principal Cities. 

We have unoccupied territorv for which we desire 
representatives. Write us about ! * 

J. P. Morgan & Co. 

Wall Street, cor. Broad, New York 


Cor. of 5th and Chestnut Streets 


31 Boulevard Haussmann 


Deposits received subject to Draft. Securities 
bought and sold on commission. Interest al- 
lowed on Deposits. Foreign Exchange. Com- 
mercial Credits. Cable Transfers. Circular 
Letters for Travelers, available in all parts of 
the world. 

Jtttorneys and Jigents of 

Messrs. J. S. MORGAN & CO. 

No. 22 Old Broad St., London